One-man battle launched against litter blighting Horsham

A one-man battle has been launched against litter blighting Horsham.

Mark Crane regularly litter-picks three or four times a week in various spots around the town collecting bagfuls of other people’s rubbish.

“The amount of litter around Horsham just frustrates me,” he said. “It’s a real blight on our community.”

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And, he said, it is having a detrimental impact on local wildlife. “I’ve found dead hedgehogs with face masks wrapped around them.”

Mark Crane regularly picks up other people's rubbish left strewn around Horsham

Mark, 60, first set about his clear-up during lockdown after being made redundant from his job as a pensions advisor.

“I run four or five miles most days,” he said. “If you are running you just notice litter more. You don’t notice things as much when you’re in a car.”

And he often collates rubbish - huge bagfuls - when he’s out walking his dog Finn with his partner Geraldine.

He sorts it into recyclable and ‘landfill’ bags and puts them into his own bins when he gets home, or takes it to the dump if he has too much.

Mark Crane regularly collects bagfuls of litter around Horsham

And, although he finds it frustrating that people drop litter, he says he believes that Horsham District Council is ‘partly to blame.’

“When you walk past litter bins that are rammed full, it’s no incentive.

“If people take litter into an area and there is no bin, people should keep it with them until they can dispose of it properly.”

When he’s out litter-picking, passers-by often thank him for his actions. “This morning four or five people came up to me and just said ‘thank you for what you are doing’, but it doesn’t solve the problem. People need to take responsibility.”

Mark Crane

Horsham District Council says it spends around £400,000 a year litter-picking Horsham’s streets and has cleaning teams operating seven days a week around the year.

A spokesperson said:“The council currently operates a very successful Adopt-a-Street litter picking scheme across the district.

“Currently volunteers are in excess of 270 and we continue to receive applications from new volunteers who want to go the extra mile and take pride in our environment.

“In Horsham town centre we employ a litter and cleansing team seven days a week whose responsibilities include sweeping, emptying bins, litter picking, weeding and graffiti removal, as well as cleaning the car parks.

“Since September 2020 some 13 Fixed Penalty Notices for littering have been issued.”

On-the-spot fines for littering can be issued for £50 and unpaid fines can incur a further £2,500 charge.