Litter is a growing concern in Ouseburn Valley. Whilst a fantastic takeaway offer from local businesses has been a great asset during covid lockdowns, it's also put a strain on public bins. Furthermore, a small minority of people have sadly contributed to littering in public green spaces. It goes without saying that litter is an eyesore that damages our environment. So, let's work together to maintain and improve our community. Join us in our #KeepOuseburnTidy campaign. 

Our Chief Officer, Chris Barnard states, “As businesses are permitted to open primarily for outdoor service, litter in the Valley will no doubt continue to be a problem. We have volunteers keen to help keep on top of it but we are seeking support from businesses and the public alike to help keep Ouseburn tidy, so we can all continue to enjoy such a special environment.”

One Ouseburn-based business has taken steps to ensure they’re doing everything they can to reduce Ouseburn’s litter problem. YogaTherapies, based in Byson Court on Portland Road, have invested in an additional litter bin which will be accessible to any passersby. Businesses pay for litter collections, but the strain on public bins is high and it’s common to find takeaway food cartons and empty drinks cans piled around bins and seating areas.

“When we moved into our new premises in Ouseburn, we knew we had found our forever home”, says Chris Jackson, Director at YogaTherapies. “A big part of that for us was taking responsibility for the wellbeing of the area and ensuring that we really were doing our part to maintain and protect the balance of beautiful nature and quirky architecture”.

We've spoken with several businesses who are concerned about the litter issue, but it's often difficult to know how to help. It's great to see YogaTherapies taking steps like this and we hope other businesses will follow.

However, it's not just about what businesses can do. This campaign urges visitors to be conscientious. We'd like to continue encouraging people to take litter home with them whenever possible so the problem isn't left with others to deal with. Local residents are taking matters into their own hands whilst also urging authorities to consider providing additional litter bins to help alleviate the problem.

Local resident Martin Wintermeyer states: “I have lived in the Malings for two years now and I have always been really impressed with the community feel and how the residents are keen to work to make the Ouseburn Valley a vibrant and lovely place to live, work and play.

“The Malings Environment Team are out every weekend picking up litter and moving fly-tipping to make it easier for the Council to remove. We are very pleased to be sponsored by the Tyne Bar, The Cluny, The Cumberland Arms, and The Kiln, along with Morrisons who keep us equipped with bin bags and pickers. Moreover, the Ouseburn Trust have loaned us litter pickers so it is a real ‘community effort’.

“Whilst we are very happy to get out and pick up other people’s detritus it would be far better if people could take their own rubbish home with them… Additionally, if there were more bins, especially those able to take recycling versus rubbish, it would lead to a much more lovely valley!”

Ouseburn Ward Councillor Gareth Kane recognises the litter issues but believes the core of the problem is beyond just careless individuals. “Litter is a blight on our green spaces like the Ouseburn Valley, not just aesthetically, but being in a river valley, litter has a good chance of ending up contributing to the global ocean plastics problem. It has been exacerbated by the pandemic as more food and drink is being served in single-use containers. I’ve been very impressed with efforts such as the Plastic-free Ouseburn project and the Ouseburn Trust’s Community Litter Picks trying to address the litter problem locally, but we also need more effort by packaging producers to reduce single-use items at source.”

What can you do to help #KeepOuseburnTidy? 

As an individual

As a local business 

  • Help reduce overfilled public bins by investing in an additional bin and leave it out for public use
  • Litter-picking volunteers always need extra space to dump their bags, so if you run an Ouseburn business & your bin has some extra space, please let us know
  • If your business serves takeaway food & drink, what can you do to minimise single-use materials? We know covid-safety has made the situation complicated but can you commit to being plastic-free?
  • Looking for ideas for your next team-building day? Arrange a company volunteering day in Ouseburn

Spread the word about the #KeepOuseburnTidy campaign

Download: A3 No Rubbish Excuses poster (click to open PDF)

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