GREEN men are taking over the town centre and need your help.
The town centre sweepers are also known as the green men – they push handcarts, drive green machines and vehicles around picking up litter left behind by the wider public.
Starting at 5am and working until 6.30pm, the team can collect five bags of rubbish each day – each – just from the town centre.
Seven team members work in the town centre, a further one in Springwood with another driving the electric cart – they are Mark Hamilton, Philip Andrade, Ken Lang, Michael Lang, Jimmy McDonnell, Jos Castle, Rob James, Patrick Byrne and Keith Thomas.
Led by Paul Whittaker, they use four green machines which can travel at 10mph, one sweeper which can travel at 20mph, two hand carts and one electric cage tipper.
Mark Hamilton, whose shift starts at 5am, said: “I try to clean up all the rubbish before people start coming into the town from the night before, but sometimes I’m out cleaning up and there’s people still out drinking.”
He said people had spat at his vehicle during his early morning shift.
“Others have a joke and ask for a lift, but you just have to be civil with everyone, hope they can see what we’re doing and let us get on with it,” he added.
Litter from takeaways, drinks cans, crisp and sweet packets form a large part of their daily pick-ups. But they also find used needles, alcohol cans and bottles and dog – and human – fouling on the town centre streets.