Keep Saffron Walden tidy - fast food businesses support new litter scheme

Gary Curshen with dog Jaffa.

Gary Curshen with dog Jaffa. - Credit: Archant

A proposed plan to combat litter has been picked up by fast food businesses in the town.

The scheme, where firms sponsor litter collectors in return for having their logo on high visibility jackets, has the support of Saffron Walden Town Council and several eateries.

Saffron Walden resident and former restaurateur Gary Curshen is proposing that other companies follow the example of McDonalds in employing litter collectors to clean up after their customers.

Mr Curshen, 63, from Debden Road, said: “If they did this, the fast food outlets would get good publicity instead of bad. We all need to take responsibility for litter but responsibility cost money that’s why they need to get something in return.”

He added: “We all need to take charge of our litter. In the 1960s, the campaign Keep Britain Tidy was promoted in schools and really caught the imagination. It would be great if we could get back to that. Perhaps we could have a Keep Saffron Tidy campaign.”

Gordon Mussett, Saffron Walden town clerk, said: “We would certainly give the scheme our blessing and we would like to be involved in some way. We would be happy to publicise the scheme and support it.”

Donna Yildirim, joint owner of Fish and Chips on High Street and ABC Barbecue on George Street, said: “We would be interested in hearing more about this scheme. We do already clear up rubbish left outside the shops every night. We make sure the road is clear.”

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Mahesh Chauhan, manager of Subway on Hill Street, told the Reporter: “It’s definitely a good idea. We would need to know what the cost would be but we already have the high-vis jackets.”

Mr Curshen, a grandfather, who has lived in the town for 20 years and is the former owner of Venue on Regent Street, Cambridge, said: “I have seen the problem get worse over the past three years.

“I walk my dog in Audley End Park and it’s littered with food cartons. There are papers, coffee cartons and sandwich packets all over it,” he added.

Mr Curshen is also calling for more litter bins.

He said: “The litter is bad on Debden Road and on my doorstep. I asked the town council and they said the pavement wasn’t wide enough. I would be prepared to have a bin fixed to my wall.”

Mr Mussett said: “There are issues around bins on pavements. We have to leave enough room for mobility scooters. We will have to look at that particular locality and how much litter there is likely to be.”