Local group and McDonald's in Caernarfon litter campaign
A group of volunteer ‘Geocachers’ joined forces with Caernarfon’s McDonald’s staff recently in a Tidy Towns assisted litter-pick of the Pont Seiont area of the town. This popular and picturesque area of Caernarfon is occasionally blighted by littering, with fly-tipping also a regular problem here too.
Geocaching is a hobby where people with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) receivers place containers (‘caches’) in parks and public areas and then post the coordinates online for others to find – a kind of high-tech ‘hide and seek’.
One of those helping out on the day was local Gwynedd Councillor, Cai Larsen, who said: “I really enjoyed working with the geocachers and McDonald’s staff in the recent litter-pick. Caernarfon has wonderful sites but some areas are often blighted by litter and fly-tipping. This is very frustrating as it’s so easy to dispose of these things responsibly. I’d like to thank all those who contributed to this very worthy undertaking.”
McDonald’s franchisee Phil Lowndes, who owns the Caernarfon franchise, said: “I was really proud to see everyone come together and help the tidy-up in Caernarfon. It’s a key priority of ours to ensure that the local area remains free of litter and an enjoyable place to live, work and visit.
As a business we understand the important role that we play in making the area a cleaner place for everyone. I’d like to thank the geocachers for their professional arrangements and to the councillors and Tidy Towns for all their help. Everyone taking part helped out with the effort to clean up the mess we found. We are also happy to be raising awareness about littering generally.”
Gwynedd Council’s Highways and Municipal Cabinet Member, Councillor Gareth Wyn Griffith, who is also a geocaching enthusiast, said: ’It’s great to see businesses, such as McDonald’s Caernarfon, working together with community groups in Gwynedd to tackle environmental problems, such as littering and fly-tipping. Congratulations for a great effort to all those involved.”
On behalf of the geocachers, Peter Blakemore said: “Unfortunately, it was a bit of a wet autumn morning, but this didn’t put off the 20 or so of us volunteers filling a large trailer with 10 plastic bins of recyclable litter and 40 bags of rubbish. Amongst the items we removed were several car wheel trims, a crash helmet and a tent.
I’d like to thank Gwynedd’s Tidy Towns scheme, Tesco, who provided parking, and McDonald’s who, apart from helping out on the litter-pick, also provided us with a drink and a meal after the event, which was much appreciated by all the participants. New members are more than welcome.”
The event was part of a global initiative called "Cache in Trash Out Day” (CITO) which is an environmental initiative supported by the geocaching community. It was held with the cooperation of Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns scheme, who helped with equipment and safety gear. The rubbish was removed by the Council’s Street Cleaning Team.
Those who discard litter in a public place are committing a crime. Anyone found guilty of littering in any public place could face a court summons and a fine of up to £2,500. To report any instances of fly-tipping, contact Gwynedd Council’s street enforcement team on 01766 771000.
Gwynedd’s Tidy Towns scheme is funded by a Welsh Government grant which aims to improve the local environment.
PHOTOGRAPH: Some of the local crew who came together to clear litter in Caernarfon