Stevenage dad hopes dog walkers' litter challenge will help clean up town
PUBLISHED: 08:30 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:36 18 February 2019
A new puppy owner shocked at how much litter there is blighting the town where he lives has set a challenge for all dog owners to pick up at least 10 pieces of litter every time they take their pooch for a walk.
Gary Walsh is the proud owner of cockapoo Bertie and was shocked when out dog walking to discover how much litter there is in Stevenage.
He said: “I decided to pick up at least 10 pieces of plastic waste and put it in the council bins whenever I take him for a walk.
“There are five million dog owners in the UK and if everyone did this every day we would collect 50 million pieces of waste every day and the UK would soon be one of the cleanest places to live in the world.
“Plastic bottles, beer cans and fast food wrappings seem to be the main type of litter in my area.”
Gary is determined to take action and has set up Facebook group Dog Walk Litter Challenge for like-minded dog owners keen to help make a difference and improve the local environment.
He said: “I’ve already started to notice the difference on the routes of our dog walks, but it amazes me how much packaging waste is produced from fast food and drink containers.
“We had a couple really windy days last week and it blew all the recycling boxes around and caused lots of litter. I managed to collect three bags full of litter on our walk on Sunday.”
Fellow dog walker Wayne Pearce said: “Great work, but it should never be needed. It just makes me so mad walking my lanes.”
Gary’s wife, Emma, said: “It’s such a shame to see so much litter in our local wood - Monks Wood. However, we have noticed the difference since we have been doing our bit for the last few weeks. We just need more people to get involved.”
She added: “I’m so proud of my husband for doing this. We do get some strange looks sometimes when we’re carrying bags of rubbish and a litter picker, but our daughter loves being part of clearing up and looking after our area.
“She’s a member of the eco club at her school and talks about her daddy’s group. We are both very proud of him.”
For anybody who wants to take on the litter challenge, Gary warned: “Don’t forget to wear gloves if you do pick up litter. We don’t want anyone getting ill from doing good for their area.”