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New Tower Hamlets environmental team to take on litter and grime

A new team of environmental coordinators will focus on making the streets of Tower Hamlets cleaner and greener. 

Acting as liaison between the community and the council, the environmental coordinators will be out on the streets talking and listening to residents and recommending improvements. They will also work to keep litter and dumped waste off the streets, as well as hosting clean-ups and educational events.  

On Saturday 3 December the team is hosting two events – one in Middleton Green Park, Old Bethnal Green Road from 12pm to 4pm and the other at Raines House in Wapping as part of the Polyanna Christmas Fair from 11am to 5.30pm. Both events are to give residents and local businesses the chance to discuss their ideas and concerns with council officers about how best to clean-up the local area.  

These clean-up and community engagement events are part of a council’s year-long programme to address the issue of street waste. It will include improving our refuse areas in commercial and residential spaces; working with the public so there is a better understanding of the litter problem and how the community can help reduce it; and promotion of our high streets and green spaces to attract more people to visit local businesses. 

The programme follows a trial event that took place on Saturday 8 October where volunteers, including local businesses, organisations and residents, got together to deep clean Bethnal Green. The volunteers, which included members of the local litter-picking group, WaSH Wombles, and Bethnal Green McDonald’s, cleared approximately 25 bags of street litter at the family-friendly event. 

Cllr Kabir Hussain, Cabinet Member for Environment and the Climate Emergency, said:

“We know our streets are too dirty and that is why the Mayor of Tower Hamlets has declared a waste emergency. We are looking at all parts of street cleaning, commercial waste, refuse collections and problems such as dumped rubbish. 

“To be successful, we need to work with our residents and businesses and that is why we are creating the new environmental coordinator team.  

“While we have more work to do as a council to improve our service, we also need people to dispose of their waste properly and take waste home after visiting our streets and parks if there is no room in the bins.  

“Tower Hamlets is our home – we want everyone to be proud to live here and to enjoy a clean environment.”  

About the event that took place on October 8, volunteers commented, saying:  

Md Kabir, Business Manager at Bethnal Green McDonald’s, said: 

“As a business, it was fantastic to be involved in the recent clean-up and local community event in Bethnal Green. Bethnal Green McDonald’s are always willing to support the local council and we are keen to participate in joint clean-up and litter-pick events in future, as we care about the cleanliness of our neighbourhood.” 

Paul Kellaway, volunteer at the local litter-picking group WaSH Wombles, said: 

“As a volunteer litter-picker, it's fantastic to see the council getting out on the streets to speak to residents. I was pleased to meet two of the new neighbourhood managers who were passionate about working with businesses and residents to make Tower Hamlets a better place to live, work and play.  

“While the council has the job of cleaning up the streets, we need to recognise that businesses, residents and visitors have a role to play in changing our behaviours to reduce the amount of rubbish being left on the street in the first place.  

“If you are interested in getting a local litter picking group started you can find the WaSh Wombles on social media as @washwombles or visit https://linktr.ee/WaShWombles and feel free to join us on our litter picks in Wapping, Shadwell and Stepney Green.” 

Tower Hamlets Council is keen to support community action groups like the WaSh Wombles across the borough.  Please get in touch with our Environmental Services Team at teamec@towerhamlets.gov.uk for more information.  

For more information about the Pollyanna Christmas Fair, please visit: http://www.pollyannatheatre.org/news.  

For more information about how to properly dispose of your waste as a resident, please visit our website here: https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/environment_and_waste/recycling_and_waste/Rubbish-and-Recycling-Collections.aspx 

Businesses must use a commercial waste service. More information here: https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/environment_and_waste/recycling_and_waste/Commercial-waste/Commercial_waste.aspx  


Posted on Friday 2nd December 2022