He’s waging a one-man war against fly-tippers.
This week alone, Darren Shaw, 48, has filled four one-ton builders’ bags with rubbish that he has collected from the hedges and footpaths close to his home at Sackville Street in Ravensthorpe .
Darren, a father-of-three who works as a handyman, sets out every day in his hi-vis jacket pushing his trusty wheelbarrow to retrieve paper bags, fast food containers and other rubbish from the undergrowth.
But there’s some jobs too big even for Darren to tackle.
For along with the plastic bottles, food wrappers, drink cans and bagged up household rubbish, he has come across supermarket shopping trolleys, children’s beds, builders’ rubble, kitchen units and even settees dumped by fly tippers on his regular clean-ups.
Darren said the large items were regularly dumped on Park Road at the opposite side of the playing fields to his home.
He said he had reported the litter problem to Kirklees Council on several occasions without any action being taken.
The fly-tippers and litter bugs are also undeterred by a No Tipping sign at Sackville Street warning miscreants that they face a potential £2,500 fine for littering.
As an added twist, Darren said one of his neighbours was a council roadsweeper.
He said: “It’s getting to be ridiculous. People are throwing rubbish in the bushes. There’s always been a problem with a bit of rubbish, but in the last two or three years it has got a lot worse.
“I have been out every day for the last two years or so cleaning up. This morning, I started at 9am after dropping the kids off at school and I was still there at tea-time. I can be cleaning up several hours a day.”
Darren said he had also reported incidents of joyriders driving onto the playing fields after damaging concrete bollards intended to keep vehicles off the grass. After one incident, he discovered his own car had been damaged – a day after he had warned one youth believed to be involved not to come back to the area.
The incidents of fly-tipping at Ravensthorpe follow similar cases up and down Kirklees. The Examiner reported last summer how angry residents confronted two fly-tipping suspects after allegedly spotting them tipping broken furniture and packaging on land off Binn Lane, Marsden . In October, fly-tippers got more than they bargained for when they were blocked in by heroic residents in Mirfield.
Other fly-tipping blackspots have included Kilner Bank near the John Smith’s Stadium and TP Woods at Gledholt .
The Examiner has contacted Kirklees Council but has not yet had a response.