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Fast food giant joins litter pick

PUBLISHED: 16:51 24 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:20 25 April 2014

McDonalds joins forces with the Council for litter picking event.

McDonalds joins forces with the Council for litter picking event.

Archant

MCDONALD’S is joining forces with North Devon Council to carry out a litter blitz on the Link Road.

The council has begun its annual litter pick on the main tourist route of the Link Road and A39 between Bideford Bridge and Stonelands Cross near Tiverton.

The 34 mile clean up usually takes around one month to complete, with North Devon Council also carrying out regular litter-picking at lay-bys and emptying bins.

Last year’s blitz saw 735 bags of rubbish collected, weighing almost four tonnes and costing the tax payer £12,000.

This year, local McDonald’s franchisee David Hunt, who operates five restaurants including those in Barnstaple, is supporting the effort with £1,500 in sponsorship, as well as encouraging people to take rubbish home with them or use the bin, instead of leaving it along the road.

“I’m delighted that this year, McDonald’s is supporting our efforts and will be helping to get the message across that it’s simply not acceptable for people to throw their waste out of the car window, or dump it for someone else to clean up,” said the council’s executive member for environment, Councillor Rodney Cann.

“Litter along the link road is a real problem for North Devon. As the main gateway into our district, it’s unsightly for visitors and residents, it can cause damage to our environment, and it costs up to £12,000 a time to clean up.

“I’m also quite keen to promote the idea of fast food operators putting car registrations on takeaway packaging to help identify people responsible for littering. If they knew it was on the packaging they would think twice before dumping it.”

Last year, the most common items found were fast food wrappers, general household waste, builder’s rubble and wheel hub caps.

David Hunt said he was always disappointed to see litter left along the roadside when travelling on the Link Road and found it even more disheartening when some of that was fast food packaging.

“We provide litter bins outside all our restaurants, so there’s no excuse for people to throw their waste away so inconsiderately,” he said.

“The council approached me and asked if we would sponsor the event. I saw it as a natural extension of what we do at a local level so I agreed to help raise awareness.

“I would urge our competitors to join with us so we can make this an annual event and to build on this ground-breaking joint initiative.”

Each year McDonald’s in Barnstaple hold Love Where You Live events, where staff get involved in litter picking. This Tuesday (April 29) there is one at Eastern Avenue and on the following Thursday at Roundswell.

If caught dropping litter, drivers can be fined up to £2,500 and even face court.

To report fly-tipping on public or council land: go to www.northdevon.gov.uk/lgcl_fly_tipping or phone 01271 374776

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