This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Litter Wars

Meet the litter vigilantes: the men and women who care so passionately about the cleanliness of their streets and parks that they are prepared to take matters into their own hands, confronting literrers and rolling up their sleeves to clear up your mess.

It is a huge problem. 30 million tonnes of litter are dumped on British streets every year. It costs a billion pounds a year to clear up, and hard-pressed councils cannot always cope with the daily tide of dog mess, drinks cans, sweet wrappers and cigarette ends.

Some vigilantes, like retired teacher and soldier John, in Shropshire, prefer the direct, head-on tactics he first adopted after seeing a couple dropping litter on his street. He ran up to them and demanded that they take their litter home or face a citizen's arrest.

John's approach might seem extreme but he is not alone in his irritation at this type of anti-social behaviour. In Cornwall, Rik mounts early morning video vigils to film dog foulers and passes his evidence to the council. In Derbyshire, we meet Mike, who is infuriated by the dog mess which fouls his local park. He collected 27 bags in just one 60 minute patrol.

Some vigilantes adopt a gentler approach. In Leicester, Adrian has harvested more than 50,000 drinks tins from his local streets. In Cornwall, Owen loves to spend his spare time blitzing litter-strewn parks with a crew of mates, which he finds a good way of letting off steam from his role as a carer. Jill, in North Yorkshire, mounts one of Britain's most unusual dog fouling campaigns - highlighting every dog mess on a popular footpath with a pink flag. However after marking 72 poos, she runs out of flags.

50 minutes

Last on

Wed 14 Aug 2013 00:35
BBC One Scotland, Scotland HD only
Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss