Rob’s mission to clean up Bishopston streets

October 31 2014

WAGING war against litter in his local area is Bishopston resident Rob Umphray.

WAGING war against litter in his local area is Bishopston resident Rob Umphray.

With litter pick in hand, Rob takes to his surrounding streets every Saturday morning - alongside neighbour 19-year-old Antonio Greatorex - to clear up any troublesome rubbish.

Together they tackle Muller Avenue, Ashley Close and part of Ashley Down Road.

Rob said: "Since I was a kid, I always remember my mum giving me chores, and teaching me the importance of keeping our area tidy. She grew up in Germany, so she was quite strict about us taking responsibility.

"The litter in my road, and the surrounding area, was starting to irritate me, so I decided to do something about it.

"In a time of cuts, our mantra is often to blame the council, but I think we should take responsibility for making sure our local area is tidy and clear of litter."

Rob - who works full-time as a sales director at a software technology company - has noticed that since doing the weekly clean-up, there has been less litter. When he first started in May, he collected around eight bags, now he is only collecting on average two bags.

"I believe that where people don't see litter, they don't drop it," said Rob.

It takes the duo around half an hour to do the local roads, and they recycle items where possible.

Rob has already initiated several community clean-ups in the area, with the latest one involving Auntie Litta, from Long Ashton, who picks up litter across the city wearing a superhero costume.

The clean-up, on October 25, was part of the nationwide 'Keep Britain Tidy' campaign, which is in its 60th year.

Eighteen bags of litter were collected in total, and then disposed of by the council.

Rob had four new people taking part - two of which were from Australia, and litter picking was something they did often.

Roads covered were Brynland Avenue, Dongola Road, Orchard Road, Seymour Avenue, Seymour Road, Ashley Down Road, Kennington Avenue, Salthrop Road, Theresa Avenue, Muller Avenue and Ashley Close, as well as several nearby St Andrews Park.

Rob said: "The clean-ups have gone better than expected - I have had so many positive comments."

Rob plans to carry on his weekly clean-ups through the winter months, and hopes to reach out to other local communities, encouraging others to do more.

He said: "I know it sounds a little bit cliche, but it doesn't matter how long you do it for - every little helps."

Rob Umphray with Auntie Litta