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Litter crusader on one-man mission to keep Walsall village tidy

By Charlotte Callear | Aldridge | News | Published:

Meet the litter crusader who is on a one man mission to keep his home village tidy.

Mike Haws with some of the rubbish he collected in a few hours

Armed with his trusty litter picker and wearing his high-vis vest tireless Mike Hawes collected 36 bags of rubbish found strewn around Aldridge in just one month.

The 53-year-old – who fits his litter-picking in despite having a full-time job and a family – has no plans to let up on his war against waste in the Walsall village any time soon.

Walsall Council provides him with the bags, and just last week the married father-of-two filled up seven big bags in a couple of hours down Longwood Lane.

Mr Hawes will regularly collect around four bags of rubbish per week on average depending how often he goes out – which is usually once or twice a week.

In January alone he filled 36 bags patrolling areas like Hayhead Wood Local Nature Reserve.

He said: “I pass by Birmingham on my way to work and in some parts no one shifts rubbish that is dumped by fly tippers and I do not want Aldridge to get like that.

“Litter is an absolute nightmare. It will be hard to get on top of it because rubbish blows all over the place.

“I collect a lot of drink cans and plastic bottles along with drink containers. Anything that is thrown from cars.

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“I even found a few £5 notes when the new ones came out because they are slippy and did not stay in people’s wallets.

"I have put the money in to buying litter pickers and gloves. There is some rubbish I find that dates back a few years.

"I have found an unopened yoghurt from 2013 and a crisp packet from 2011. It just shows how long this rubbish has been flying around for.

“I want to keep Aldridge tidy all times of the year, not just for the Village in Bloom competition.”

Once he has collected all the rubbish, he takes it to the council tip.

Councillor Aftab Nawaz said: “It is very re-assuring in the borough that we have got people like him. It is great to see he has an abundance of pride for where he lives.”

Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear
@CCallear_Star

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office

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