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Rod cleans up with Keep Scotland Beautiful Hero of the Month prize

07/04/14

An Aberdeen man has been recognised as the March Clean Up Scotland Hero of the Month by the independent environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The award is given to an exceptional individual or organisation in recognition of their environmental efforts and successes.

Footdee resident Rod McLennan was nominated by Aberdeen City Council for his outstanding contribution to the local environment, in particular for cleaning up areas blighted by litter.

On most days and in all weather conditions, Rod can be found cleaning up in and around the beach area where he lives.

Where others may ignore or report a problem to the Council, Rod gets to work, picking up litter and cleaning up dog mess on the beach, in grassy areas and in and around the play park.

He also carries out minor repairs to the play park. Rod cleans and recycles as much of the litter he collects as he can and the rest goes in his own bin.

Locals and visitors coming to the beach will benefit from Rod's efforts to keep the area free of litter and mess.

Aberdeen City Council Environmental Manager Steven Shaw said: "This award is deserved recognition for Rod and the fantastic job he does in helping to keep Aberdeen's brilliant beach litter free and the special place it is.

"Rod gives up his own time to help keep the beach and local park clean and tidy, ensuring that the facilities and environment retain high standards. He is well known and respected in the area and an inspiration to everyone. Congratulations Rod."

Rod added: "Everybody should be able to enjoy walking on our lovely beaches and this is often ruined by irresponsible and ignorant dog owners.

"I try to clean up any dog mess I see, not just that of my own dog, as I detest having to try and clean the mess off of mine or my grandchildren's footwear and would not want anyone else to have to clean theirs after stepping in it.

"It is such a negative feeling that I think it would put many people off going to the beach, we have a great beach and everybody should be able to enjoy it responsibly.

"Litter on the beach mainly consists of glass bottles and jars many of which are smashed deliberately. It is beyond belief that sane people would smash glass and leave it at the beach where adults, kids and pets could be seriously hurt, this is all the more galling as there are recycling bins close to the beach near the public toilets.

"I feel it is important that everybody should help keep Scotland clean. Down at Fittie we get a huge amount of tourists every year from all over the world and I think we owe it to them and ourselves to present Scotland as a beautiful and clean land. Many thanks to Keep Scotland Beautiful and Aberdeen City Council for nominating me."

The Clean Up Scotland campaign is working to make Scotland the cleanest country in Europe by leading community Clean Up activities and aims to change long-term behaviour by making littering unacceptable.

Katie Murray, campaigns officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful said: "We are thrilled to recognise Rod as our March Hero of the Month. Littering and dog fouling are major problems affecting the quality of life in communities across Scotland and Rod's efforts will make a real difference to local people.

"The Clean Up Scotland campaign is all about individual members of the public and groups deciding to do something to improve the environmental quality of their local neighbourhood.

"I hope that Rod's enthusiasm and energy will inspire others to join in his quest and to do their bit to Clean Up Scotland.