/ Rubbish on hills - getting worse?

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Pids - on 04 Jan 2017
Took a wander up the popular hill Goatfell, my goodness, what a depressing amount of rubbish was found.

Took a walk up from Corrie, then up the shoulder and joined the main walkers path as opposed to heading straight on to North Goatfell and from that point on it seemed that every large rock we sought shelter from the wind (it was blustery) had been used as a toilet, with toilet paper left behind as evidence,

We also found a fair few large (empty) bottles of heineken (must be the only large bottles of beer they sell in the co-op in Brodick), along with the obligatory banana peels and food wrappers.

Yes, it is a very popular hill, yes there were plenty of folk on the hill when we were up it but my goodness, what a lot of rubbish had been left in nooks and crannies between boulders.

How do we educate people on carrying rubbish, and especially about toilet / bowel control?

I did also see signs at the bottom (we came back out via the Castle) asking for donations to the MRT, perhaps a large sign also asking people not to defecate on the hill (composting toilet at the bottom?) and to bring back out anything they carried in?

Not advocating this approach at hills in general, just the "extremely" popular hills, perhaps within the car park areas - funded by the govt. through our ever present taxes.

Anyway, idle musing on how to get rid of increasing problem of rubbish on hills.
exiled_northerner - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

> How do we educate people on carrying rubbish, and especially about toilet / bowel control?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/How-Shit-Woods-Environmentally-Sound-Approach-Lost/1580083633

...maybe?

On a serious note, it does boil my pi$$ the amount of rubbish that's lying around generally, not just in the hills: biggest problem in my local area is Fly Tipping, Costa Cups and McDonalds' wrappers in laybys.

When I'm working with DofE kids I give each team a bin bag and expect to see some rubbish in it at the end of the trip!
JackM92 - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

A couple of years ago I found a walker stuffing his crisp packets into the gaps under the rocks outside the summit cafe on Snowdon. Apparently this was where he thought the best place to put it was (!)

I educated him on how best to put it in the bin inside the cafe.

The issue is lazieness - people know not to leave their rubbish lying on the hills, but can't be bothered to take it with them.
Dave Cumberland - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:
> Anyway, idle musing on how to get rid of increasing problem of rubbish on hills.

Yes it's getting worse in Lakes - particularly black bags with dogsh1t, and dogsh1t itself, plastic bottles, tampons, white tissues, takeaway crap, takeaway coffee cups and plastic tops.
Nothing quite so filthy as some people and some people with dogs.


birdie num num - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

I'm not chucking any more away than I normally do
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andyjohnson0 - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

I completely agree comments here about litter. Particularly how laziness contributes. I also suspect that people have very unrealistic expectations about the speed with which things like bread and fruit peels decompose.

On multi-day backpacking trips I always bury my human waste in as deep a cathole as I can manage to dig, and far away from water, but its still not something I'm happy with. So I'm wondering if anyone here has tried packing out their waste - as in the Leave No Trace ethic that seems more common in the US - as an alternative to burying it?
MG - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

To complement dog-shit in bags, a new trend I see in lay-bys are cycle inner tubes. Three in the last couple of months, in one case with an abandoned gas inflation thing.
Gordon Stainforth - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

If only were just a matter of laziness. I fear it's something deeper ...
gethin_allen on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to MG:

> To complement dog-shit in bags, a new trend I see in lay-bys are cycle inner tubes. Three in the last couple of months, in one case with an abandoned gas inflation thing.

I've seen a fair bit of this along with gel wrappers while out cycling. While on an organised sportive I gave one bloke a bit of my mind after I saw him throw 2 gel wrappers. I was going to report him to the race organisers because there was a strict "if caught littering you will be disqualified" rule, but 45 miles later on I'd forgotten his number.

The innertube thing baffles me, it's not hard to fix puncture so why bin a tube and cough up £4 for a new one?

Some cyclists really don't help our cause.

Xharlie on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

But it's what the pros do, innit? I hate watching cycling on the telly - I can't stand seeing peloton's flinging bottles and wrappers and no matter how many times someone says that there'll be a clean-up crew along, later, to pick all that up, SOME of it, at least, will be missed and the example it sets is appaling.

I could well believe that there are at least a fair few amateurs that do this, clean-up crew or not.
simonridout - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

In the autumn, I took part in a clean up on Scafell Pike. There was less litter than I expected from previous visits to the pike, confirmed by others, who had been doing the annual clean up for several years, who reported that it was less this year than previously. Litter was mainly paper tissues, which I am sure fall out of pockets that they are not put into properly, chocolate / sweet wrapping, mainly small bits, rather than whole wrappers and fruit remains. The biggest thing that I picked up was a DIY flag and pole advertising a charity climb for a national cancer charity.
gethin_allen on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Xharlie:

> But it's what the pros do, innit? I hate watching cycling on the telly - I can't stand seeing peloton's flinging bottles and wrappers and no matter how many times someone says that there'll be a clean-up crew along, later, to pick all that up, SOME of it, at least, will be missed and the example it sets is appaling.

> I could well believe that there are at least a fair few amateurs that do this, clean-up crew or not.

I agree, introducing rubbish drop areas in the pro races and banning dropping in other areas would also add another aspect to the racing.
Moley on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

Unfortunately it isn't just on the hills, we have exactly the same debate as this on my fishing club forum. A big club with 9000 members and 200 waters, but despite all the rules and baliffs looking for anglers littering and defecating in bushes it is still a big problem.
We stand to lose leased waters but still it continues, for no other reason than idleness (I think). Very depressing problem that is right through society.
poppydog on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to JackM92:

> The issue is lazieness - people know not to leave their rubbish lying on the hills, but can't be bothered to take it with them.

This. A general malaise, I feel, and spreading and facilitating a genuine belief that it's someone else's job / responsibility / problem. Sad and shameful.
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olddirtydoggy - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

Langstrath last week, what a mess. Just below the Cam Crag was old sleeping pads, chairs and crap. The cleanup isn't easy.
Robert Durran - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to JackM92:

> People know not to leave their rubbish lying on the hills.

I'm not sure some people do; because people are employed to clean up after them in towns, they just unthinkingly assume the same is true everywhere.
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John Stainforth - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

I really doubt they make that assumption. Most of the litter I see dumped in the countryside is in places where it is obvious it is *not* going to be picked up by any professional garbage collectors.
wercat on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to MG:

I found an inner tube so immaculate and clean on the road below Tryvan that it looked as if it had only just been discarded. I brought it home and checked it - a microscopic hole which I patched and it turned out to be just the right one for my bike
Rigid Raider - on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

It's the throwaway society. My neighbour buys inner tubes cheap online so doesn't bother reparing punctures; he's becoming a handy source of lightly used tubes for me to repair and keep.

Countryside litter is down to lack of education. It's nothing new though; back in the 70s we used to carry supermarket bags and pick up all kinds of crap out on the hills. The most shocking aspect of the throwaway trend is the mess of used tents and camping kit left behind after festivals; it's so cheap to buy a festival "package" from a supermarket and the quality is so poor that it's apparently not worth the trouble of packing up. We bought a tent from tesco for £25 and it leaked.
digby - on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

Orange peel and banana skins proving to be too biodegradable, the litter of the moment is pistachio shells.
andyjohnson0 - on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

A few years ago in the Lakes I found about a dozen dead glow sticks stuffed into cracks in a drystone wall in Greenup Dale. Right at head-height for sheep. Just plain stupid.
tingle - on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

follow a crowd of 3 peakers up any of the hills and you will be swimming in energy gel wrappers like they are going for the record.
coinneach - on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

Hartside on the C2C route is shockingly bad for this. Gel wrappers and empty energy drink bottles by the dozen.
Rigid Raider - on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

The only time I ever mountain biked a trail centre I was disgusted at the numbers of PET drink bottles thrown by the trail for the first mile or so away from the trail centre, where there was a cafe and snack shop. I don't know whether they extended right to the end because after a couple of miles I got bored and struck off into the countryside.
Dave Perry - on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

We have an ancient cross on the NYM, called 'Fat Betty'. At this cross I recently came across lots of food, sweets & cartons. I discovered that one of the C to C guides states that "it is a tradition to leave food there for others". What nonsense! I wonder how long people think that bacon lasts? Or indeed a carton of Yogurt? Or perhaps two sausages? Or an open bag with a few chocolates and an apple?

Some of the public nor a guide book author aren't capable of thinking this one through just demonstrates that people just don't think.
Dave the Rave on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to Pids:

I once was circled by two Ravens on a remote Scottish peak. Fearing this as a bad omen, I left two sandwiches on separate rocks for them. I got down safely and ever since, when on a summit, I've left two sandwiches for the Raven Gods.
Can I be let off as a litterer please?
Gustavo - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Coed Llandegla was like that the last time I visited. The amount of litter left by mountain bikers was very surprising. Pop bottles, sweet wrappers, old inner tubes etc.

I think the worst cycle route for litter I have ever been on was the section of the Cardiff - Anglesey route, Lon las cymru, between Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil. The entire length of the section was absolutely littered with filth. Not just bottles, cans, wrappers and dog sh1t, but old sofas, car tyres, old pallets, you name it. The amount of litter was disgraceful on what is a national cycle route. It is as if the people living there had no pride in their area whatsoever. Rivers, footpaths and cycleways all similarly littered with crap. Once out of the South Wales valleys the litter disappeared, so I can only assume it's the local people who think it's OK to live in what looks like a massive landfill site.

Conversely, I cycled across Switzerland and saw virtually no litter in over 250 miles. Everything was clean and tidy. The same in Scandinavia. It must be down to education and taking pride in an area; something which seems lacking in the UK.

A small minority of people in the UK just seem to like to live surrounded by crap. Perhaps they don't even notice it or are aware of the problem it creates.
Rob Exile Ward on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Gustavo:

Generally I think South Wales is pretty much as bad as anywhere in the country for litter, from fisherman on the coast to the hordes on the top of Pen Y Fan (good to see them there though - they weren't 15 - 20 years ago.)

We can all do our bit to raise consciousness, I don't think I've ever seen anyone drop litter in the hills and not asked them to desist - I think it's just thoughtlessness in a lot of cases.

Anecdotally I'm pretty sure that European mountain areas were a lot worse for litter than we were 30 - 40 years ago, nowadays this seems to have completely reversed itself. Did the Tour de Mt Blanc this summer and with the exception of a few honey-spots like Col de Balme we just got used to the fact that it was litter-free.
andrewmc - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Gustavo:

> I think the worst cycle route for litter I have ever been on was the section of the Cardiff - Anglesey route, Lon las cymru, between Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil. The entire length of the section was absolutely littered with filth. Not just bottles, cans, wrappers and dog sh1t, but old sofas, car tyres, old pallets, you name it. The amount of litter was disgraceful on what is a national cycle route. It is as if the people living there had no pride in their area whatsoever. Rivers, footpaths and cycleways all similarly littered with crap. Once out of the South Wales valleys the litter disappeared, so I can only assume it's the local people who think it's OK to live in what looks like a massive landfill site.

Poverty.
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