A CLYDEBANK man is fighting for more to be done about the “severe” litter problem in the town and its surrounding beauty spots.

During lockdown, Steven Hoffin took it upon himself to do his bit for the community by picking up rubbish.

He collected more than 30 bags of litter from the canal, the canal path, the cycle route, the Kilpatrick Hills and Loch Humphrey.

Amongst the items were bike tyres, face masks, wet wipes, takeaway cartons and drinking containers.

The 42-year-old is calling on West Dunbartonshire Council to do more to tackle the problem blighting the area.

He told the Post: “The main thing is the amount of litter.

“At the canal, there are white plastic takeaway tubs absolutely everywhere.

“There are lots of plastic drinking bottles and cans. It’s absolutely disgusting, it’s not even a small issue anymore. If you look at the sides, the canal is littered with trash.

“It affects so much wildlife too – there are swans and cygnets on the canal and they are immersed in litter.

“It had been like that for months, so I was sick of it and spent time just going up and down picking up as much as I could find - it was a bit of an eye opener for me.

“The frustrating thing is - I have sent messages to the council and not heard back.

“I got a positive response from Scottish Canals.”

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Steven has suggested an initiative that has been tested in England to both the council and Scottish Canals - a station with a litter picker, bags, and hand sanitiser - with the aim of encouraging residents to do a #2minutecleanup and post images on social media.

He is also calling for more bins near the canal as well as signage.

Steven said: “We need more bins, but if they don’t get emptied enough it creates more of a problem.

“Some of the bins in the town centre are always full and overflowing. The council don’t bother trying to fix that.

“Every time I’ve got in touch they’ve not got back to me.

“I’ve asked for them to get in touch with Scottish Canals and discuss how they’re going to tackle the situation at the canal.

“We need more signs asking people to stop littering as it’s now a severe issue.”

A council spokeswoman said: “It is disappointing that a small number of people are being irresponsible by illegally dumping litter in green spaces that are enjoyed by the whole community. This waste poses a risk of infection to the frontline employees who clear it so we would encourage all residents and visitors to do the right thing and either take their litter home with them or dispose of it in one of the many bins located across West Dunbartonshire.”

A Scottish Canals spokesperson added: “Over the last few months as the canals have opened up to the wider public following lockdown, we have been disappointed to see an increased volume of litter along our waterways. Our operations teams have been hard at work getting the canals and towpaths ready for the remainder of the season which has included a programme of litter and debris collection.

“In addition, we have been pro-active in encouraging members of the public to take their litter home through our social media channels and signage on our towpaths. We are now working towards reinstating our volunteer litter picking programme, which includes ‘Paddle pick-ups’ and continue to work in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful to see how we can encourage canal users to dispose of their litter appropriately and responsibly.”