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For a cleaner Glasgow, we could learn from Melbourne

Anne Simpson is correct to identify litter, and the littering mentality which creates it, as a plague on Glasgow, albeit the cleansing squads which work through the night to give the city centre a clean face at the start of each working day do a splendid job ("Glasgow's litterati must clean their act up", The Herald, November 26).

She is also right to identify the 2014 Commonwealth Games as the ideal target for Glasgow to address the littering issue and leave a positive and lasting impression of the city on the many anticipated visitors.

Glasgow has already adopted much good practice in games management from Melbourne, and could do worse than look at how that city addressed the litter issue when it hosted the Games in 2006.

As part of a comprehensive approach to games planning and management, Melbourne City Council prepared a Games Management Plan which contained specific proposals to deal with waste collection and management (including recycling), graffiti and litter in the city centre and along all routes to venues as part of its approach to image building, tourism and inward investment.

Melbourne accepted at the outset that rather than simply throwing resources into increased cleansing services in the lead up to the games, they had to make the games the focal point of a much longer-term approach to promoting public education and civic pride in the city and its environment, an effort now being co-ordinated across a wider geographical area by the Victoria State Litter Action Alliance.

The result was, and still is, a city which is pretty much litter free and has outstanding environmental credentials, and a state recently voted the cleanest in Australia.

No surprise then that the Economist Intelligence Unit named Melbourne as the World's Most Liveable City in 2011 and 2012. This is the standard to which Glasgow should aspire.

Steve Inch,

72 Stirling Drive, Bishopbriggs.

Anne Simpson highlights the problem of litter in Glasgow, a trait which shows no sign of improvement.

It puzzles me why so many Glasgow citizens find it so difficult to understand that council resources cannot keep pace with the careless discarding of litter. That they are content to live in a city which is awash with litter is part of the problem.

I have come to the conclusion that many people simply do not notice the mess. It boils down to an absence of a sense of collective responsibility, a respect for the sensibilities of one's fellow citizens. Pride in being a Glaswegian and caring about the city's image seems a very low priority for many.

The hostile reaction from those whose carelessness is pointed out to them indicates both an ignorance of collective responsibility and a lack of a sense of civic solidarity. Caring is seen to be "uncool".

Once a month I go out with a black bin bag and fill it completely with litter of all kinds from the grassy areas and tenement gardens in the streets adjacent to my flat. I am used to getting strange looks from passers-by. Once in a while someone expresses appreciation. I have no idea why people seem to find it so difficult to take similar joint responsibility for their area.

In a perverse way, it seems to have emerged as some kind of aggressive "right" that people express their individualism by trashing their surroundings.

Until that attitude is changed by equally determined responses from council and business leaders, I do not see any chance of this depressing habit improving.

Dave Stewart,

129 Novar Drive,

Glasgow.

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