Please pick up bottles before they are broken

This article was published in 2011, in Newsletter 99.

If everyone reading this Newsletter who sees an intact glass bottle sitting by the roadside or lying by a path, picks it up and disposes of it in a bin, then hopefully there will be fewer incidences of broken glass to shred our tyres. If the bottle is already broken, of course the only thing to do is contact StreetScene at the City Council (phone 01223 458282 or email, as I’m sure none of us carry around the variety of equipment needed to clear broken glass safely.

Every intact bottle is potentially a broken bottle, even if it’s at the back of a pavement. Every intact bottle averted from this fate is thus a saving of money to the Council by a very simple, practically costless action. I reckon the last puncture I had, owing to broken glass, cost me in the region of fifty pounds by the time I’d factored in the cost of the repair and putting a value on my wasted time, especially that spent walking to and from, and waiting for, buses while I had no proper transport.

I just tuck the bottle into my basket every time I see one, and either put it in the next bin I see, or wait until I park at work or home, thus saving stopping again. I normally can be heard muttering very loudly and clearly: ‘Why can’t people dispose of litter properly? Broken glass is so dangerous to dogs and small children’, in the hope that others will get the message, and the next time they see a glass bottle, will also pick it up before it gets broken.

Heather Coleman