The award is presented annually by Bo’ness Community Council to honour a person or group for outstanding services to the local area. The award is named after the late John McLaren, a reporter on the Linlithgowshire Journal and Gazette and the first-ever secretary of the Community Council.
Clean-Up Group founder Anne Travers received the trophy with some fellow litter pickers at a ceremony at Bo’ness Library on Saturday.
“I’m proud of all our volunteers and what they’ve achieved,” said Anne.
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“There are lots of great groups in the Bo’ness area, so it was lovely to be recognised by the Community Council with this award.”
The group runs monthly litter picks, encouraging people to “take pride in Bo’ness”.
Anne was inspired to form the group in October 2020. She said: “It was during lockdown and I was spending more time at home and noticing all the litter around the town. I also have two dogs and was worried about broken glass.”
The organisation now has more than 180 members on its Facebook community and regularly uses social media to encourage people to clean up their area.
“I’ve counted up 1200 bags of litter collected since we started, but that figure doesn’t include all the bags of litter collected by people on their own, in their local neighbourhoods,” said Anne.
“I don’t know what the answer is to littering. A lot of it is just laziness. If people can’t find a bin, they just drop litter.”
Finds collected during clean-ups have included discarded pills - plus bottles of urine, beside a layby used by truck and van drivers.
Volunteers also discovered £100 of discarded money, which has been donated to Bo’ness Fair. The Fair is also the inspiration for the group’s next campaign, called “Clean For The Queen”.
“We’re encouraging people to keep their immediate area clean and tidy in the run-up to Bo’ness Fair,” said Anne.
Madelene Hunt, the chair of Bo’ness Community Council, applauded the work of the volunteers.
She said: “The Clean-Up Group has achieved a lot in a short period of time and are worthy winners of the McLaren Trophy. The group recently received £1500 from Falkirk Council’s Community Choices Fund to buy litter picking equipment. I hope they continue to get support and encouragement.”
Mrs Hunt added: “Of course, we can all do our bit by taking litter home with us. There really is no excuse for dropping litter. It’s not only a blot on the landscape. It can also be a risk to pets and wildlife.”
To get involved in future litter picks, search for the ‘Bo’ness Community Clean-Up Group’ on Facebook.
You can also email: [email protected]