Hibs give match tickets to litter campaign helpers

: Henri Anier and Tony Reguero join Gerry and Zsuzsa Farrell for a clean-up in Hendersons Playpark. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

: Henri Anier and Tony Reguero join Gerry and Zsuzsa Farrell for a clean-up in Hendersons Playpark. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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Every Hibby wants to see their team do well in Saturday’s clash against Dumbarton at Easter Road.

But while the club hopes to be streets ahead on the pitch, bosses are urging football fans to keep the streets outside clean amid reports that littering is worse on match days.

The club has joined forces with the Leithers Don’t Litter campaign and will be offering around 70 free tickets – worth around £1600 – to everyone who takes part in the Big Autumn Clean-up on match day.

The campaign was launched in August by husband-and-wife team Gerry and Zsuzsa Farrell, who run city-based marketing agency Ink, in response to concerns that the area was drowning in a rising tide of litter.

Putting his weight behind the mission to clean up Leith, Hibs goalkeeper Tony Reguero said: “This is a great thing to do in Leith and everywhere. Everyone should contribute towards doing this kind of thing.”

Striker Henri Anier, on loan from Dundee United, added: “It’s not nice to look outside and see trash everywhere and you feel better if everything looks clean.”

So far the Big Autumn Clean-up has around 65 volunteers who have pledged to take part, which Gerry described as “terrific turnout”.

The volunteers will be split into seven teams who will tackle areas identified as Leith’s litter hotspots.

These will include the area from Kirkgate to Charlotte Street, parts of Ferry Road, Leith Links, Water of Leith walkway, Easter Road and 
Dalmeny Street.

Gerry, the man behind Irn-Bru’s famous “phenomenal” ads, said he had been amazed by the level of support the campaign had received from the community groups such as the Hibs Community Foundation and from local businesses.

The advertising consultant also pledged to encourage the police to prosecute litterbugs.

His Leithers Don’t Litter Facebook page has already received more than 700 “likes” while the campaign and has attracted high-profile support from percussion group Stomp.

The Facebook page has proved key, not only in raising the campaign’s profile but also in allowing people to flag up rubbish hotspots or issues that pose a potential risk to safety.

Zsuzsa started the campaign after she became sick of the amount of litter blighting the streets near her home.

She said: “I kept moaning about it and on one day in August I said ‘Enough is enough, we have to do something’ so I set up a Facebook page and I was surprised by how fast people agreed to give us their support.”

The next phase of the campaign will see Gerry and Zsuzsa distribute stickers to takeaways and shops to encourage customers not to drop litter in the street.

The pair are also due to visit Leith Academy in the next few weeks to spread their campaign message.

Leithers Don’t Litter already features a poster featuring the litter monster and bearing the slogan “Don’t Feed The Beast”.

john.connell@edinburghnews.com