A mystery litter picker who has kept his village’s street clean for a decade has quit in protest at his local skip being shut down.
The Whitehills resident has worked to keep the village tidy for 10 years, but has said his efforts will be “futile” when the skip shuts on Monday.
Every weekend, the kind-hearted volunteer went through the village, to the main road and return by another road, covering a total distance of two miles.
He would regularly collect three black bags of rubbish, including plastic bags, bottles, cigarette packets, takeaway cartons, nappies, papers, from the roadside.
But he has now accused Aberdeenshire Council of failing the “environmentally-aware” community.
He said: “Volunteers in Whitehills already litter pick, keep the public toilets open at the bus stop and the play park. They provide and distribute doggy bags.
“They collect and plant flowers in the village. They also put up the Christmas lights.
“Their reward is to be obliged to take items for the skip either to Macduff or Portsoy.
“The motor miles involved will do nothing to improve the environment.
“A new neighbour who is very environmentally aware combs the fore shores lifting plastic, ropes, damaged creels etc and we both did the job to safeguard our environment but it is totally disheartening when Aberdeenshire Council does not care.
“The folks who used the skip are very disappointed in its closure.”
The local authority has now arranged to bring in more bins, and local politicians hope the community will continue to help keep the area tidy.
North-east MSP Peter Chapman was in contact with the litter picker last year and spoke to Aberdeenshire Council on his behalf to find a solution.
Mr Chapman said: “I think we should doing all we can to encourage this kind of selfless community spirit.”
Councillor Glen Reynolds added: “This well-loved gentleman is a true community champion who is doing doing his bit in challenging times.
“Whether on the beach or in the high street, litter picking and plastic retrieval is increasingly becoming a social and worthy community project, to help out when cut backs mean a reduction in council services.
“I would ask that anyone wishing to participate in such activity, contacts me or our local community waste officer and I will be happy to help the work to continue if possible.”
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “We are supportive and encouraging of any community or individual who wants to tackle littering and increase recycling, regularly providing equipment, bags, bins and disposal to assist local efforts.
“Our local community waste officer – we have a team which serves every Aberdeenshire community – will be happy to help in this situation and determine the best solution to allow this work to continue if possible.”