A campaign has been launched to keep Haringey’s parks clean following a big increase in littering in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

The ‘bin it or take it home’ campaign provides advice on how residents can keep the borough’s parks clean, such as using reusable containers to store food and drink.

It comes after the council cleared nearly 50 tonnes of rubbish from parks in May – double the amount that was collected during the same month last year and enough to fill two twelve-metre shipping containers.

A recent clear-up in Ducketts Common saw four skips filled with rubbish in just four days.

Haringey Council spends £500,000 a year clearing rubbish from the borough’s parks – and the bill could increase if the recent spike in littering continues.

As part of the campaign, picnickers and other park users are being urged to put rubbish in the bins provided or take waste home if they are full. Leaving rubbish next to bins means it can be spread around by animals and the wind, adding to clear-up costs.

With 95 per cent of rubbish made up of food and drink waste, park users are also being encouraged to use reusable containers or refillable water bottles.

The council will also offer support to people who want to join friends of parks and community groups, which carry out regular litter-picking activities.

Cllr Kirsten Hearn, cabinet member for climate change and sustainability, said: “It was incredible the amount of rubbish that was collected in just four days. If our bins are full, please take your rubbish home with you. If you can cut down on disposable waste, that’s even better!

“If we continue as we are, we will either have to find more money to make sure the parks are cleaned, or they will become messy and unsafe places. Please help us to look after our beautiful open spaces, and a big thank you to those of you who already do.”

An increase in littering was also reported in neighbouring Barnet following the coronavirus lockdown. Barnet Council’s environment chief said in June that the volumes of litter being left in parks were “absolutely unprecedented”.

More information on the Haringey campaign is available here.