Numerous plastic bottles filled with urine, metal roadwork sign frames and even the carcass of a wild boar were found during a deep clean of the verges and laybys along the entire stretch of the A2 in the Canterbury district.
The work, which was completed last Friday (25 May), cost £20,000. It has been paid for by the city council and was carried out by its environmental services contractor Serco, including the use of a giant vacuum cleaner provided by Highways England.
It took two weeks using a five-hour, off-peak weekday lane closure. Four kilometres of verge were cleaned each day using a dedicated crew of nine Serco staff. Around a tonne of rubbish was collected a day.
Other items collected included traffic cones and lorry tyres alongside more usual litter such as fast food containers, drinks bottles and confectionery packaging.
Council Leader Cllr Simon Cook joined the crews for one morning and praised them for their hard work in a difficult and dangerous environment.
He said: “I absolutely take my hat off to them. It’s an exceptionally tough job but their spirit and dedication to the task was plain to see, even as huge juggernauts roared past just a few metres away and the latest roadwork sign frame was pulled out of the undergrowth.
“It’s very sad that we should have to put such an amount of money and staffing resources into this kind of work. The lack of respect people have for the environment is staggering. One bottle of urine would be one too many but dozens of them have been picked up over the two weeks.
“We’ve received lots of comments about the state of the A2 verges and people have been very understanding about the fact it’s not easy to close off part of such a major road. We’re pleased with the end result and will be discussing with Highways England ways in which we can work together in the future to make jobs like this easier to do and cheaper for the taxpayer.”