Tidy Up Tottenham is the name of the group of residents formed to wage war against rubbish and fly-tipping in the borough.
Featuring Facebook and Twitter groups of hundreds of followers, residents daily post pictures of rubbish dumped in the streets, bringing eyesores to the attention of the council and waste management company, Veolia. This social media strategy complements the official method of reporting rubbish dumping which includes the Our Haringey mobile phone app.
But, more than this, the collective now has a website, has launched a poster campaign and regularly teams up with Friends groups in the area for litter picks. And that’s just the start…
“We’re looking at doing a school outreach programme and wish to touch every school in Tottenham,” said co-founder Anthony Flaum. “I did an assembly and a litter pick at Bruce Grove Primary School recently and the school loved it. And now we have teachers getting in touch saying, ‘I want this at our school’. We’re also looking to contact businesses and landlords to see how they can help with the litter problem.”
Anthony and fellow co-founder Emma Geraghty head a committee of volunteers concerned at the amount of rubbish dumped in Tottenham and wish to take positive action against it. Anthony himself was moved to get involved thanks to the morning walk to school which was increasingly becoming something of an obstacle course.
“My daughter and I walk through this alleyway in Bruce Grove which had become a notorious hotspot for dumping and littering,” he said. “She would step over stuff and I was almost at the point of embarrassment in walking my daughter to school! I started thinking, ‘I’m not sure I want to bring my children up in this kind of world’ but I was also motivated by how great this area is with such a wonderful community of people and all it needs is a bit of love and care.”
While working closely with various Friends groups connected to parks and open spaces, Tidy Up Tottenham also focuses on the blight of litter on our actual streets.
“I would love residents to take small steps and tidy up outside their homes,” said Anthony. “And if, say, there’s a problem bin near your house then talk to your neighbour responsible and ask if they know where to get a bigger bin. It’s very gratifying when people post something like, ‘Wow! My street looked so clean today.’ I think the best thing we’ve done is brought people together to talk about this issue which has always been a big problem in Tottenham and, instead of just complaining, we are now saying, ‘Right. Enough is enough. How can we tackle this in a positive way?’”
- If you are a resident or a business wishing to get involved visit www.tidyuptottenham.org (external link)
- To report fly-tipping or dumped rubbish visit www.haringey.gov.uk/fly-tipping-and-dumped-rubbish (external link)