Published: 00:01, 17 December 2014
Meet the villager on a one-woman mission to clear litter from the streets after becoming exasperated by the amount of beer cans on her morning walk.
Armed with a black bag and wearing rubber gloves, Mandy Chada, 59, has made it her quest to restore pride in Meopham after a build-up of rubbish she says has gone on for years.
The self-employed curtain designer has spent the past couple of weeks filling three big sacks with discarded beer and fizzy drinks cans, cigarette packets and fast food wrappers.
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Mandy’s frustrations have grown after encountering the mess on her morning stroll.
“I just thought it was so awful, the roads near me are so bad I just thought I needed to do something”. Since I’ve started, I’ve managed to fill three big black sacks” - Mandy Chada
But what finally sparked her into action was watching BBC documentary show Don’t Mess with Me, which discusses efforts used to solve littering in Britain.
Mandy, of The Russets, said: “My husband told me I was being obsessive but I needed to do something.
“I used to live in Riverview Park and when I first moved to Meopham it was so clean but the problem has now been going on for ages.
“I just thought it was so awful, the roads near me are so bad I just thought I needed to do something”. Since I’ve started, I’ve managed to fill three big black sacks.”
She said her vigilante cleaning has caused puzzled glances from passing motorists, but bystanders have thanked her for her efforts.
“I do feel embarrassed when cars whizz past, I’m sure they think “what is she doing?” but I have had a couple of ladies come up to me and say it’s really nice,” she said.
“If eveyone picked up just one piece of rubbish then it wouldn’t be like this.”
Video: Mandy Chada's one-woman war on litter
Mandy also revealed her litter pick has even posed a safety risk, after she suffered an infection on her hand because of the dirt.
Nick Brown, Director of Environment at Gravesham Borough Council, said that littering while was a national problem but the council were "proactively" working to combat it.
“Earlier this year we launched a new wheelie bin service and this has already had a dramatic effect.
“We also want to work on an education programme so people can learn that they musn’t drop litter. Education is the start point to improving in the future.
Mr Brown added that the council would also be launching an enforcement programme in the town centre in the New Year.
Mandy’s daughter Simren added: “I’m so proud of mum. I couldn’t imagine anyone clearing up after someone else but hopefully people will take notice and think again before littering.”
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