…who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! No, the park ranger!
The park ranger’s mobile number is now on the bins for park users to call if/when they see a bin needs emptying. I started stickering last Sunday morning and just have a few to complete at the Waffle House end of the park.
The back story: I thought we were missing a trick in Verulamium Park by not allowing the public easy access to the park ranger to alert him/her* to overflowing bins and I suggested stickers with the ranger number on them. I met with Council officers and some of the John O’Conner team (including the MD) last year to look at various little things we could improve in the park with little cost. Currently if residents have a problem with street/park cleanliness our Cleaner District phone number (01727 819598) takes you through to a call centre, but I think it’s far better for calls to go straight to the ranger, who knows the landscape of the park, and who can deal with it there and then.
What we haven’t got at the moment is a numbering system for the bins so you can’t call and say “bin 21 needs emptying.” I believe Officers at the Council are drawing this up and our thought was to get going with the phone number stickers ahead of the heavier park usage over the summer.
The rangers work really hard, especially in the summer when they can be emptying the same bin every two hours. It’s like painting the Forth Road Bridge.
Early risers who use Verulamium Park in the summer will know that 6am scenes of paper nakins, crushed cans, empty water bottles and crisp packets are a common site as young people (and it is mainly young people) leave behind the accompaniments to their conversations the night before. My next step is to talk to the John O’Conner team about handing out small bags to groups of young people and say something along the lines of “Enjoy the park and when you’re done please remember to bag and bin everything.”
What do you think?
>> Final thought: join me on my next litter pick in Verulamium Park? No matter how hard the park rangers work, we find it’s useful to have some extra hands clearing the periphery of the park, especially along King Harry Lane where people have been sleeping rough and people in parked cars throw litter out of their windows.
*Currently two ‘hims’ – Hayden and Alan, and Alan is temporarily covering the park whilst a new permanent replacement is found for Peter.