More than 1,500 bin bags of litter were picked up by Tranent Wombles volunteers last year.

Tranent Wombles was launched in September 2020 with the goal of clearing Tranent’s streets of litter.

Since being founded, the group has collected 4,618 bin bags of litter, with 1,667 collected in 2023 alone. The 2023 figure is an increase on the 1,443 collected in 2022, and the group’s chair, Henry Mathias, said that the volume of litter in the town was an ongoing concern.

He told the Courier: “It is not getting any easier.

“We started the Wombles due to the amount of litter out there on our streets in Tranent.

“It is alarming that the number of bags we have collected is so high.

“I think this year it perhaps reflects the volume of volunteers going out regularly, as opposed to an increase in litter.”

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The group has about 30 active volunteers who carry out individual and group picks in the town and surrounding areas.

Mr Mathias said the hard work of the volunteers was the reason for the group’s success.

He said: “Our volunteers are fantastic.

“We have a lot of members online but about 30 active volunteers who are out regularly and it’s all voluntary.

“When I look at the amount of bags we have collected in a few years, it is staggering. I imagine it all piled up in a heap and how much land that would cover. ”

The group’s efforts have gone beyond litter-picking, setting up permanent and temporary bins in areas where litter volumes are high, and also creating an outdoor greenery area, ‘Pollinator Parklet’, on Lindores Drive.

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Mr Mathias said: “The group has gone from strength to strength.

“At the beginning, we were clearing a lot of litter that had been sat for years.

“Now it is more about maintaining areas and highlighting areas of concern.

“Hopefully there will come a time when our litter picking is not needed, but until then we will keep working hard.”