Leeds Metropolitan University art student Bess Martin (pictured
above) is passionate about the environment and keeping her
local area tidy. Over the summer, she started The Litter
Project, which focuses on reducing litter and encouraging
recycling in Leeds.
To promote the project, second-year art student Bess
has created an art installation made from litter collected in the
city and it's currently on display in Leeds University.
Bess spoke to Love Where You Live about the project
and why she got involved.
"As with most Cities, Leeds has a bit of a litter problem. I
walk through WoodHouse Moor most evenings and see people relaxed
and having a good time enjoying the park, but then in the mornings
it's covered in plastic bottles, carrier bags, glass bottles and
"I decided to do something to encourage people to either
take their litter home or put it in the nearest waste bin or
recycling point rather than leave it behind on the field. I thought
it would be a good idea to create an installation to show the
amount of litter dropped and raise awareness of how to recycle
locally and reduce waste.
"Leeds Council pick up all the litter from the park by 10am
every morning. It is very good of them to do so, but it costs
thousands of pounds every year - an avoidable cost. Once they've
picked it up it all goes to landfill. This is also a big shame as
the majority is recyclable and can be put back to use, not just
saving money but reducing emissions too.
"The rubbish gets cleared away before anyone can see just
how much there is. I wanted to do something to highlight the amount
of rubbish and also to raise awareness of the fantastic recycling
facilities in place in Leeds and to encourage people to dispose of
their waste in a better way.
"Over the summer, I spoke to a member of the council who put
me in touch with Leeds University Union and Leeds Met University
Union. I collected litter over freshers' week to spread the word
about the project. Once collected and cleaned, myself and four
volunteers, Malu, Aleena, Aurelie and Louise, assembled the litter
into four sculptures. These now act as a visual display of the
amount of litter dropped.
"The sculptures are currently on display in Leeds University
Union, with facts and figures about litter in Leeds and the UK. We
hope to keep the sculptures in Leeds University Union for a week or
so before they move to Leeds Met University Union.
"This is an exciting project and I am so pleased that people
are taking such an interest. In a small way, I hope that The Litter
Project will play a role in helping to reduce litter and encourage
more recycling in Leeds."
about The Litter Project on Bess Martin's blog.
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