As we approach the second May Bank Holiday and the school half term, The Parks Trust has calculated the true cost of dropping litter in the city’s many parks, woodlands and lakes.   Litter is a major issue for The Parks Trust, which manages and maintains over 6,000 acres of green space in Milton Keynes. The self-financing charity can reveal that:

• During one week of the 2016 summer holidays, the Trust collected 848 bags of litter across its parks – this equates to 4.24 tonnes of rubbish in just one week
• The Parks Trust’s litter costs have escalated by £100,000 over the last three years and now stand at over £330,000 (exc. VAT) each year
• Over 15% of the Trust’s operations budget is now spent on cleansing of litter
• There have been 14 incidents since 2015 where litter-dropping offenders have been identified and spot fines administered or prosecutions sought
• The amount of litter picked up by the Trust’s rangers and volunteers increased by 35% last year
• In one day earlier this year, a group of corporate volunteers collected 82kg of rubbish around the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve

Rob Riekie, Landscape and Operations Director, for The Parks Trust, commented: “As you can see a dropped crisp packet here or a drinks bottle there adds up, and really does have a huge impact on the parks – both in terms of how they look to other users and how much we can spend on managing and improving them.

“What people often forget is that we are a self-financing charity not funded by the council tax or government. Every penny we spend has to be found from the money we earn from our activities and from our investments. The money we spend on clearing litter could be used for things such as more play areas and facilities in the parks or more free events or more Community Rangers to patrol the green space. “We would like to thank all those who do clear up after themselves, and encourage the small minority who don’t to really think about the impact their actions have. We ask that people take their litter home with them and dispose of it there, as this really helps to minimise the money we spend on collecting and removing rubbish.”

For more information, please visit www.theparkstrust.com