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Amount of litter in lanes around Mendip countryside is 'unacceptable'

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: June 23, 2012

  • Rubbish in the countryside around Yarley

  • Mogens Kraft

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A shameful catalogue of rubbish has been collected in a beautiful Mendip village.

Retired businessman Mogens Kraft moved with his family from Denmark to Yarley, near Wells, more than 20 years ago.

Over the last two decades he and his wife Ida have enjoyed the countryside around their home.

But after buying a dog and taking it for puppy walks, Mr Kraft became aware of just how much rubbish is regularly left dumped on the roadside.

From cans and bottles to sweet wrappers, from contractor's waste to private correspondence, refuse kept turning up.

"When you walk a small dog, especially one that will pick up anything and try to eat it, you become very aware in a very short period of time of how much litter has been left," he said.

"I carry a bag with me anyway, so I took along a pair of gloves and started to collect up the rubbish.

"The amount that is discarded along the lanes is disgusting. It is totally unacceptable."

Mr Kraft began to gather up the rubbish and so appalled was he by the accumulation, that he decided to keep a log of everything he collected.

"I was so irritated about it, that I decided to make a point by collecting it all up and making a log of what had been discarded," he said.

"I want people to appreciate just how much is routinely ending up on the roadside, lying in the grass.

"It had to be seen to be believed.

"Much of it is not biodegradable, particularly the packaging.

"Since then I have seen examples of very good food packaging that is biodegradable and cannot understand why industries are not made to use compostable materials instead.

"It is unsustainable.

"It is in the interests of everyone not to have such items being routinely thrown out into the open countryside. However if it rotted it would make a difference.

"However it is not just packaging. I have found builders' and contractors' waste including lengths of rubber tubing and telephone cables, private correspondence, and plastic garden and farming waste.

"It is unacceptable."

Over several weeks Mr Kraft collected up 12 bags of waste around the village of Yarley - containing almost 600 items.

"I would like to see an environmental group or club organised that would be fun to join and participate in, where people take a pride in their local areas and make a difference by keeping their local areas tidy," he said.

"People would meet others from their local area and have the satisfaction and joy of doing something useful."

What more can be done to keep our villages and towns litter free? Write to Letters to the Editor.

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