Cambria Bridge: Litter magnets

28th April 2022

We regularly litter pick along the canal path into town. Whereas it used to take a big group of us, there were only 2 of us last time, taking just over 2 hours to clean. With the area generally tidier, more littered areas stand out. There were 2 outstanding areas of litter:

  • The first was in the alleyway parallel to the canal path at the back of the Tennyson Street houses. This rubbish seemed to emanate from dumped rubbish in the back garden of one of the houses. It looks a mess, so the surrounding area is treated in kind. I had previously spoken with someone who lives there, who assured me they would clean it up. I tried to speak with them again but no-one answered the door.
  • Just at the bottom of the steps around the playground was the other heavily littered area. Much of this emanates from the top of Cambria Bridge. We’ve previously blogged about the dreadful state of Cambria Bridge. The situation has been going on for the last 15 years or so. The problem occurs for several reasons. A key reason is that there are not property waste facilities for residents. With people and families crammed into small spaces, how are they supposed to keep their rubbish indoors? We asked the borough council whether facilities could be installed to keep the area clean, suggesting a Eurobin(s) / similar in the road. The answer was no, and there was no further exploration to sort it out. It was due to such inaction and disregard by the borough council that led to my former neighbour George taking matters into his own hand and dumping rubbish from Cambria Bridge at the council offices on Euclid Street. The 2 surveillance cameras supposedly installed to keep rubbish at bay clearly aren't serving that purpose.
  • At the end of the litter pick, I bumped into a friend. He gave me a hand to clean up the considerable unsightly rubbish on Cambria Bridge. He was quite surprised at how much he enjoyed it. Thank you Jeremy! There was a comment in the Adver from a member of the public who said that these blogs focused on the borough council, and omitted the role of the public. That is because these blogs have been focused on the underlying lack of facilitation which is the responsibility of the borough council. But let’s provide some balance. As we litter pick all over Swindon, people walk by, say thanks very much, share info etc. But how many of us roll up our sleeves, set a good example and clean up? What I hope is clear from this article is this: Those areas which are cared for are generally treated better. Those areas which are uncared for are generally treated with disrespect.

    The solutions start with taking responsibility. Further down the canal path, a local resident has cleaned up an area that was initially neglected and then decimated by the borough council. She has been busy tiding and planting. Thanks to her, this area looks nicer and is noticeably less littered. Be the change... In lieu of adequate governance from the government and borough council (1 | 2 | 3 | 4, 5), we all need to take responsibility if we are to deal with littering / plastic pollution.

    Tidy long strip of land next in between the side of a house and a road.  Plants are springing up.