Yesterday’s rubbish walk was along a small portion of Malmesbury Road, an area that we clean on a regular basis. We cut the walk short due to high winds, but we still managed to collect 9 glass bottles, 39 cans, and 21 plastic bottles, as well as one bag of general rubbish. We have started keeping track of the most littered brand we find – check back in at the end of the month for the list of shame.
There are many reasons that rubbish ends up along this stretch of road:
Food: A large Morrison’s is at one end of Malmesbury Road and it is bookended on the other by a Tesco, a new Sainsbury’s, and the town centre itself with a number of takeaways. There are plenty of places for people to stock up on food to eat on the go. The packaging is often discarded along the way.
High traffic: The pavement along Malmesbury Road is a main pedestrian artery into the town. With the Chippenham Railway Station at one end and a number of local schools in the middle, all of this adds to the number of people out and about and potentially littering. Finally, there is the literal traffic – the large number of vehicles using Malmesbury Road itself. As a result of this, some of the rubbish we find tends to be parts of cars or items chucked out of car windows (like the lorry mirror (?) pictured).
Cut throughs and connections: The City of Chicago website comments that “People usually litter outside their own neighborhood where their trash becomes someone else’s problem.” Malmesbury Road is one such road that connects residential areas. We have noticed a similar trend of littering on streets that are used as shortcuts or cut throughs, such as East Yewstock Crescent and Hardenhuish Avenue.
No bins: Despite all of these reasons, bins along this route are practically non-existent. While there are quite a few well maintained bins in John Coles Park, bins between Tesco and Morrison’s can be counted on one hand.