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Volunteers turn out in force for Big Tidy Up in Diss

16:32 27 May 2012

Mark Ford, who runs Big Skies Food Company in Diss, helps to clean up the town

Mark Ford, who runs Big Skies Food Company in Diss, helps to clean up the town's Market Place as part of the Big Tidy Up

Archant

An army of volunteers spanning the age groups have been turning out in force over the weekend to give a Norfolk town a spring clean.

So far, 40 people have donned high visibility bibs and litter pickers to clear rubbish from the streets of Diss as part of the Big Tidy Up, starting on Saturday when enough waste to fill 26 black bin liners was collected, including nine bags of recycling waste.

Teams of various sizes have been setting off from the Diss Resource Base in Shelfanger Road to clean up the area around Mere Street, Victoria Road and Diss Park, though the four day initiative aims to clear most roads around the town.

The groups are being co-ordinated by town councillors Maggie Mittins Ladd, Keith Kiddie and Neil Howard and Jane Trippett-Jones from Cittaslow from a “war room” at the resource base where a map of the town has been laid out with figures showing where each team is.

As each group is moving around the town, they phone the base to let them know where they are heading.

For the last two days of the Tidy Up, today (Monday) and tomorrow, staff from South Norfolk Council were expected to join the teams to help clear away hazardous waste such as glass and graffiti daubed around the town, which is difficult for the volunteers to remove.

Local schools have also been involved in the project, including Roydon Primary School and Diss High school along with cubs and brownies groups, creating collages and posters and designing their own recycling facilities.

Mrs Mittins Ladd said the volunteers had also been actively trying to engage shops and businesses in keeping their shop fronts and premises tidy, rewarding them with a Taking Pride in Diss sticker to display in their front windows.

She said: “The main thrust of the project is to get the community involved. We have been working with the shops and the businesses in Diss to make their shops look attractive and we are rewarding those shops that take part.

“We are also trying to work with the younger generation to engage them in keeping the town clean, as this is where it begins, rather than with the older generation.”

Mr Kiddie said the emphasis was on quality rather then quantity of time and it did not matter whether volunteers could only spare an hour or longer.

Volunteers are asked to bring their own rubber gloves. To help or for more information, phone Mrs Mittins Ladd on 07989 346537 or Jane Trippett Jones on 01379 652352.

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