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'I collected 16 garbage bags from a field in just one hour'

Calls for children to spend last 15-minute of school day clearing up

The 16 bags of rubbish were collected from a field.

The 16 bags of rubbish were collected from a field.

For Steve Campagno, it was a spontaneous gesture. He had already taken a day off as he had people working on his new home in Żejtun, and sitting there feeling somewhat bored with his supervisory role, he decided to spend five minutes clearing up a field opposite, prompted by an XFM Radio campaign.

He had noticed that someone had thrown away two bags of children's clothes and these were just encouraging other people to discard unwanted items.

But once he got started, he could not stop, and managed to collect 16 black bags of rubbish, ranging from cigarette packets to safety boots and even an old car stereo.

"The most alarming thing was how many bags of dog poop had been thrown there... So people will scoop up after their dog but not take the bag home with them," he said, shaking his head.

I did not do this to get five minutes of fame on Facebook but because I want to set an example

"And there is a clothes recycling bin just a few hundred metres away."

He spent just over an hour on his mission and was stunned at how different the field looked once he tied up the last bag and put it to one side with the others for collection.

He put a cardboard sign up at the entrance to the field saying he hoped that it would stay that way - but thinks that people need to follow his example and do their own bit.

"I did not do this to get five minutes of fame on Facebook but because I want to set an example," he said, adding that he had always been a campaigner and activist for green causes - but that doing this was one of the most "satisfying things ever".

"The mayor posted a 'thank you' on Facebook but I think it needs to go much further. We should set up street councils with an administrator which would meet the council once a year to see what needs to be done.

"And we need to start with kids. Look at the reaction to the way that the Japanese cleared up after the World Cup game. Why don't we get our children to spend the last 15 minutes of every day clearing up their desks, tidying up the shelves, cleaning the whiteboard? If we instill this sense of responsibility in them, they will keep the lesson for life... and pass it on to their own kids."

 

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