#SheffRubbish: the negatives of digging through Sheffield’s litter


Mattresses and bicycles, hypodermic needles and baby carriers. Tires in front of schools, hedgehogs trapped in litter. JUS News found all of these things, and more, during a day of intrepid sifting through the waste that mars parts of Sheffield and the surrounding area.

Despite a £100k council campaign against litter, during an intensive day or reporting we found that swathes of the city remain unsightly and unpleasant. Shopkeepers, schoolteachers, and hedgehog rescuers have all spoken out about the issues posed by the proliferation of rubbish around the city.

Although many people are doing great things to combat the waste problems, this is something more people need to pay attention to. We knew that it was an issue, but what we didn’t realise was just how bad it is: litter is a blight upon swathes of the city.

In the early morning, our trip with BBC Radio Sheffield saw us find the old ski village in Parkwood beset by trash and industrial waste. We also found the Page Hall and Darnall areas almost systematically covered in mess. In Page Hall, Shakil Yasin told Lydia Chantler-Hicks that he now sees rubbish “as a common thing”.

Green spaces and community areas suffer too, with the Ponderosa in Crookesmoor a litter hot spot in the centre of the city. 

Elsewhere, we found a worryingly high number of hypodermic needles carpeting Park Hill, although council workers were busy clearing them up when Isabelle Tudor was on the scene.

Responding to a Radio Sheffield listener, Michael Fenn spotted two thirds of a three piece suite stranded half-way down Abbeydale Road, although there the prevailing opinion was hopeful, with many local people backing the council’s efforts to defeat the litter louts and fly-tippers.

Meanwhile, Rhoda Morrison went to Rotherham and spoke to the management of Abbey School, where parents are growing more and more concerned about the serious risk flytipping poses to their children.

Rachel Lewis tracked down an area of rubbish that, sadly, as students we have to take responsibility for: although it should have been cleared by now, that the litter she found behind the Valley Centertainment tram stop included ‘Varsity’ branded memorabilia.

In truth the most striking thing to be learned from our day of mobile campaigning is that litter is an issue we must all deal with. Community groups like those we have highlighted must be supported, and the council must continue, as they do, to treat this as an issue that bothers so many people in Sheffield.

With Keep Britain Tidy’s Clean Sheffield campaign now targeting three Sheffield areas and hoping to be able to extend its remit soon, the fight against needless waste and rubbish eyesores continues.

Hannah Galtress mapped our efforts yesterday:

Despite all this, we also found a lot of people who were taking control to clean up their city. See the positives of #SheffRubbish here.