Resident condemns blight of rubbish after St Albans charity runs

Half Marathon rubbish

Half Marathon rubbish - Credit: Archant

A disgruntled resident is threatening to get up a petition to have organised runs banned from country lanes because of the litter which is dumped along them.

Jack Hill, of Riverside Close, said that a year ago he asked the organisers of the St Albans Half Marathon to arrange for watering stations to be manned by volunteers who could collect discarded white plastic cups.

But last week he collected 168 cups which had been discarded along 100 metres of road from Furzebushes Lane to the junction with Chiswellgreen Lane as well as numerous squeeze tubes further along the route.

Mr Hill said: “This situation will, I feel, continue year after year so I am minded to start a petition to have organised runs banned from using the country lanes. I wonder what the reaction of the runners and organisers would be?”

Responding to the complaint, race director Mark Caldwell said that following a conversation they had earlier this year, he had arranged litter bins and boxes for runners to put their cups in after each water point and also a litter-picking group to cover the lanes once the last runner had entered them.

He went on: “I am disappointed that our new plan seems to have missed a 100m stretch in Furzebushes Lane which you have identified; this will of course be assessed in depth within our debrief meeting later on this month to see how our event (one of many using the lanes) can have a 100 per cent record regarding cup collection.

“I would like to thank you for removing the cups from this section of the lanes.”

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Mark said the energy gels in squeeze tubes were harder to regulate as runners used them for their day-to-day training and ‘unfortunately litter as they run.” He added: “We, of course, make sure these are collected after our event.”