A LITTER-PICKING Stourbridge pensioner has single-handedly collected three quarters of a ton of rubbish which was littering a river-side stretch of the town.
Graham Beckley, of Wentworth Road, Wollaston, devoted around 40 hours over two weeks to collecting sackfuls of litter from the Apley Road area of Wollaston down towards the banks of the River Stour off Lowndes Road, Stourbridge, where the soon-to-open Lion Health super GP surgery is based.
The retired industrial photographer, who has been a volunteer with litter-picking group TidyStourbridge for two years, said: "Somebody has to do something - otherwise we'd be in a right mess. I was just disgusted with what I saw."
Around 2,000 tin cans, crisp packets, nappies, clothes, contraception and even pregnancy test kits were among the items found dumped.
Mr Beckley, who turns 70 this weekend, added: "It really is just mind-blowing. I think people are getting so used to seeing rubbish it's become the norm."
He said he's also found tyres, wheel trims, signs and supermarket trolleys dumped in and near the river and he added: "I'd love to know who carries deep fat fryers into a woodland and dumps them."
He said he hopes his efforts will help inspire others to take responsibility and take their litter home - and encourage people to think twice about fly-tipping.
Dave Colley, of TidyStourbridge, praised Mr Beckley's "sterling effort" to try and improve the image of the area.
He said: "Graham spotted a particularly grotty area in Wollaston and he decided to make a start on it on his own as we hadn't scheduled it - and it was a bigger job than he imagined.
"He helps us anyway but it's a wonderful gesture to go and do it on your own."
Anyone interested in getting involved with TidyStourbridge can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07803 200082 or report a litter problem check out http://tidystourbridge.wordpress.com