EXTRA rubbish bins are needed to deal with a rising litter problem at a popular Bangor beauty spot.
Local sea swimmers have called for Ards and North Down Council to provide additional bins at Jenny Watt’s Cove, close to Brompton Park, after a surge in littering in the area.
Regular users of the area say recent littering has included everything from discarded food, abandoned clothes, towels, glass and plastic bottles and disposable barbeques.
Walkers and bathers said the hot weather during the recent bank holiday weekend encouraged more visitors to the cove to enjoy the water and natural surroundings, but they left more waste behind than usual.
Alison McWhinney, who lives in Bangor west, said there aren’t enough bins to keep up with the amount of litter created by the crowds.
“Ards and North Down Borough Council’s bin servicing schedule appeared to have stopped over the last bank holiday weekend,” she said.
“The sole bin at the cove was finally emptied on Thursday, June 1st which left swimmers and local residents having to clean up the huge amount of litter, bagging and leaving it beside the overflowing bin for council pick-up,” added Alison.
A sea swimmer, Alison was among those helping to clean up the area, as part of ‘the Adopt A Spot’ movement.
Delivered by the Northern Ireland environmental initiative, Live Hear Love Here, local people can sign up to the Adopt A Spot community-based volunteer programme which promotes civic pride and collective responsibility for the environment.
Registered with the body, Alison and her fellow sea swimmers, the Brompton Belles and Beaux Dippers, have ‘adopted’ the area to take personal responsibility to keep the cove litter free by taking part in their own two-minute beach clean after each swim.
“All year round there is great camaraderie between swimmers, dog walkers, walkers and cyclists who use and pass through this unique area of natural beauty,” said Alison.
“However, some of the young adults visiting the cove left a huge amount of litter after their fun in the sun visits. Litter was strewn across the beach area, swim bench area, the rocks, grass areas, and across Brompton Road and Downshire Road.
“Visitors even had to challenge young folk to stop throwing glass beer bottles over the rocks into Belfast Lough as their preferred mode of disposal,” she added.
“Isn’t looking after the environment – the carry out what you carried in message – taught at home and in school anymore?
“If this is still taught, it appears to have fallen on many deaf ears that spoil areas of natural beauty with their lack of respect and laziness. On top of that, those people are making a swim hazardous by deliberately leaving broken glass behind.”
Alison said she wanted to thank Marie-Therese Hanson and members of the Brompton Belles and Beaux Dippers, other local people and the visitors ‘who all worked tirelessly pre or post-swim/visit to keep the cove and Brompton Road clean’.
Anyone wishing to Adopt a Spot in their local area to help keep it clean and tidy can register at https://www.liveherelovehere.org
Alternatively, people can join a regular beach clean; find out more at Beach Cleaners, Ards and North Down Facebook group.