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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 1st November 1957, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Traders Sent Litter Letter
Concern at the amount of litter left lying about Rushden is expressed in a letter which has been circulated among tradespeople asking them to help in putting an end to the nuisance.

The letter signed by Mr. H. W. Ellis, the Urban Council’s Senior Health Inspector, and headed “Litter in the Streets,” states:

“The Public Health Committee is concerned about the increase of litter scattered around the streets of the town and the danger to health which could arise therefrom.

“Accordingly, instructions have been issued for the erection of litter baskets in some streets, but it is felt that this nuisance can best be dealt with at source.

“The increase in the number of wrapped products, particularly ice cream, iced lollies and sweets, has aggravated the litter problem, which in turn, encourages the breeding of flies and insects responsible for the spreading of poliomyelitis and other infectious diseases.

Carton in Shop
“I am therefore seeking your co-operation in helping to keep Rushden free from litter and to prevent as far as possible, spread of disease by providing a litter basket and requesting your customers to use it.

“If everyone co-operates, Rushden can be made a cleaner and safer town in which to live.”

Commenting on the letter for the “Echo and Argus” this week, Mr. Ellis said he would be satisfied if shopkeepers would keep a carton in the shop and dispose of it at the end of the day.

He said: “This is a problem which is going to grow if we do not do something about it. The more goods we get wrapped, the more there is to throw away. The nuisance is at its highest in the summer, but goes on all the year round.”

Health Endangered
He said today, grown-ups as well as children liked their iced lollies and ice creams, and said the problem was dangerous to health because flies loves the sticky paper, and when they got in the ice cream it encouraged them and fed them up, and it thus became a method of transmitting disease.

This problem had grown up over the last six years, he said. “If we can get the children to put their wrappers into litter baskets we shall be getting somewhere.”

A walk round Rushden’s streets – both in the town centre and in the residential areas – did not produce a glut of litter on Wednesday afternoon, but the majority of what was lying about consisted of sweet wrappers and cigarette packets.

Won’t Use Baskets
Mr. Ross Neville, who had received a copy of Mr. Ellis’s letter, said in his High Street shop: “I think it is quite a good idea, but they won’t use litter baskets if you provide them.” He thought that at this time of the year he did not sell enough ice creams or lollies to make it necessary.

Other traders and townspeople spoken to on the subject echoed the feeling that, although it was a good idea, the litter baskets would not be used and from one came the question. “Is the council going to pay if I put a basket in my shop?”

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 16th January 1959

UDC anti-litter but will make no threats

Rushden Urban Council will make every effort to solve the litter problem, but it will make no threats. No notices about penalties to be imposed will be placed on litter bins which are to be installed in the town.

These points were made by the council’s Surveyor, Mr. W. J. Anker, in describing his job and some of the ways it affected local traders to the members of the Chamber of Trade on Monday.

He said he had been instructed to install litter bins in the main shopping area and to work out an anti-litter plan for the rest of the town.

Wants Tidy Town

The council, he said, was anxious to keep Rushden looking tidy and wanted to solve the litter problem.

But in reply to a question by Mrs. G. Knight, he said that it was not proposed to have on the bins notices about anti-litter penalties under the recent Act of Parliament.

“The attitude is that there has been sufficient publicity already and if the bins are there the council has done its job,” he commented, adding that threats were unnecessary.

The first bins in the busiest parts of the town would go up within the next week or so, Mr. Anker told the members.

Mr. R. A. Evans complained that the council’s gutter-sweeping vehicle was inefficient and often threw scraps of waste-paper from the gutter into shop doorways. He wanted to know if traders were responsible for clearing this, or whether the council’s scavenger rounds-man should clear it. Mr. Anker replied that the machine was not as good as it could be and he hopped that eventually the council would authorise the purchase of a new one. However, while he admitted that the machine might be responsible for throwing the litter about, the scavenger would be in the wrong if he left the highways to clear waste from doorways.

Asked by Mrs. Knight if the council could put bins in shops where wrapped foodstuffs were sold. Mr. Anker said this was not possible. If a trader installed his own bin the council would be happy to empty it and co-operate as much as possible.

The Rushden Echo, 13th May 1966, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Council Moves to Beat ‘Litter Bugs’
Clamp-down on Rushden’s night-time ‘dumpers’

Waste ground in Rushden and district inevitably, it seems, falls victim to the dumping of rubbish by people who presumably feel that the only method of getting rid of it is to carry it under cover of darkness to these derelict spots.

Land off Sussex Place, an unmade lane off Higham Road, Rushden, is yet another case in point, and in addition to the accumulation of rubbish the site has also become a car dump.

The rusting bodies of at least six cars are among the scattered bicycle frames, boxes and an old cast-off settee.


Hedges and bushes are at the moment forming a relatively effective screen to the eyesore for residents of the south side of Prospect Avenue. The rear windows of the houses face the rough land.

Following complaints about the depositing of the rubbish, Rushden Urban Council’s public health inspector asked the owner of the land to erect fences and notices on the site to prevent any further unauthorised tipping.

The County Planning Department is also to be consulted on the problem to deal with the unsatisfactory state of the land and the police are trying to locate people responsible for leaving the litter.

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