Ashfield's 'Big Spring Clean' will return indefinitely after successful 2019 campaign

Gillian Welch and Andrea Stones from Ashfield District Council who joined teams of litter pickers for this year's Big Spring Clean.
Gillian Welch and Andrea Stones from Ashfield District Council who joined teams of litter pickers for this year's Big Spring Clean.

An environmental scheme in Ashfield that encourages residents to keep their district clean will return "indefinitely" after more than 2,400 tonnes of waste was collected in its second campaign.

Ashfield District Council's 'Big Spring Clean' was introduced in April 2018 as one of the first measures by the Ashfield Independents administration to "clamp down" on fly-tipping and make the district cleaner.

The initiative returned between February and March this year and saw skips placed in Sutton, Kirkby, Hucknall and the rurals, with residents encouraged to dispose of their bulky waste rather than dumping it in the streets.

During the 2019 scheme 2,411.9 tonnes of general waste was collected, including 302.38 tonnes of bulky waste, with an increase of 2,378 in the amount of bulky items collected compared to the 2018 campaign.

In total almost 7,000 items were collected during the three-week scheme, which includes for example 990 fridges, 246 televisions, 102 beds and mattresses and 934 sofas or armchairs.

And now councillors have revealed that the scheme will return indefinitely after it was placed into the council's budget until the next election, with just £3,200 spent on this year's project after a £22,100 grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, council leader, said: "The good part in all of this is that we are helping residents remove their rubbish.

"We've collected 220 tonnes more than last year, a total of 2,378 items more, and a significant number of these items would probably have been fly-tipped or wrongly disposed without the spring clean.

"We've been fortunate with a grant from the government because they have seen the amazing work we're doing, and now other councils in Nottinghamshire are introducing similar schemes.

"It's a project that ticks a lot of boxes, it helps keep the district clean, it shows we are making improvements and it has hardly cost the taxpayer a penny.

"And it will return indefinitely after we factored it into our budget to make sure it keeps happening.

"Now we've got hundreds of people involved, with community volunteers working each day to collect rubbish and take pride in our district."