|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.”
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?”