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BBC weatherman collects thousands of waste items from Maidenhead's streets

A BBC weatherman who swaps rainfall predictions for rubbish collections has encouraged the public to keep their community tidy.

Philip Avery will be best known to news viewers for forecasting the coming days’ meteorological movements, but in his spare time he’s more likely to grab a picker than a clicker.

Since August last year, the 58-year-old has collected well over 5,000 drink-related waste items, such as plastic rings found on bottles.

He hopes others will take up the cause to keep their communities tidy and said he was especially concerned about discarded alcohol bottles and drug paraphernalia.

“I didn’t want my kids walking to and from school thinking it is OK to be absolutely p**sed out of your head,” Philip explained. “That was one of my motivations.

“And I don’t want this image (of litter in the town).”

He does not have an exact figure of how much he collected between August and this month because he stopped counting after reaching 5,000.

His wife signed up to the Royal Borough’s Adopt a Street scheme, which provides residents interested in keeping their communities tidy with a litter picking kit that includes gloves, a tabard and bags.

Annoyed with the rubbish left lying around near his Maidenhead house, Philip ‘was just determined to do something about it’, he said.

“It really just grew from there.” He added: “It’s quite a nice family thing to do. “We have a stroll around. From that you get a sense of the scale of the issue.”

Philip often gets thanked by people as he collects

rubbish and he hoped anyone in need of something to do in their spare time might be willing to having a go themselves.

“If you’re quite lonely at home, this is a great way to get out and about and meet people,” he said.

His collections also take place during the school run and he finds just walking the length of a couple of Maidenhead roads will fill two rubbish bags.

Philip has ideas on fighting littering, including educating young people about the environment and introducing a scheme that pays money when someone recycles a bottle.

Visit www.rbwm.gov.uk and search ‘Adopt a Street’ for more information about litter picking.

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