Volunteers bin bottles by the bagful at canal

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Volunteer litter-pickers filled nearly 40 large refuse bags with discarded rubbish,

empty booze bottles and drinks cans.

The clean-up took place on Saturday between Hillhead Bridge and Townhead Bridge along the canal.

Organised under the umbrella of Kirkintilloch Community Council, nearly 20 volunteers from Kirkintilloch Action took part in the event.

They were helped by East Dunbartonshire Council, which supplied the pickers and bags and also helped collect them at the end, along with volunteers from Scottish Canals, who safely removed all the rubbish floating on the water while local people took care of the banks and paths.

One of the organisers said: ‘‘The disappointing thing is that the rubbish was mostly discarded alcohol containers, massive amounts of glass bottles and tins, with some soft drinks too.

‘‘There is also a problem with people who eat on the go and don’t take their food containers home with them. It’s a huge problem with them floating on the canal. When visitors come we’re not really showing them the best side if they walk along the canal.

‘‘And given it is part of the John Muir Way and the Thomas Muir trail it would be nice if we could keep this area clean now we have tidied it up.’’

Organisers say they were inspired by the people of Milton of Campsie, who have led a very successful community transformation around the old station and in Lennoxtown, and that Saturday’s effort was the first large scale litter-pick in Kirkintilloch in recent times.

‘‘We had about 20 volunteers there, including some people who were cycling along and who stopped to fill a bag or two for us.’’

The next event takes place on May 16 and you can find out more by searching Facebook for the group Kirkintilloch Action.

The organiser added: ‘‘Next time we will be concentrating on the same area as there is still a huge amount of litter to remove from parts of the Luggie Park as it comes up to the canal.’’