Massive clear up on A38

A bed, a sofa and a children's slide cleared from the A38 in massive clear up led by Amber Valley Borough Council

Amber Valley is the only council in Derbyshire to enter into a partnership agreement with Highways Agency contractors to clear litter from the A38. By avoiding expensive lane closures, the project, in which tonnes of rubbish were removed from the road, has resulted in £11,500 worth of savings.

The operation was part of a unique partnership agreement with Highways Agency contractors Aone+  who had planned to close lanes to cut back vegetation from the roadside. By working alongside the contractors the Council has avoided the need to commission lane closures which can be disruptive and expensive.


A specially trained Landscape Services team cleared around 400 bags of litter from the A38 in the biggest operation of its kind in the Council's history. A bed frame, a sofa and even a children's slide were just some of the items collected from the grass verges and the central reservation in a week-long partnership operation conducted at night on the busy dual carriageway between Little Eaton and Alfreton.

Amber Valley Borough Council's operations Manager David Hewes gave regular updates about the clear up as it took place.

 Evening of Friday 12 August

 10 staff worked the Hill Top farm section a the A610 island, Ripley.

 Morning of Saturday 13 August

Contract partners Aone+ cleared away the traffic management cones earlier on Saturday morning to allow the Council's Landscape Services staff to clear about 85% of the planned works within a reduced timescale.

Landscape Services staff removed about 150 bags of litter and various items including a bed frame from the central reservation.

 Everything went smoothly.

 Evening of Monday 15 August

A610 Ripley to A61 Alfreton. This is probably the longest stretch we have to do and the wide verges towards the A61 could prove challenging due to the large amount of litter anticipated. We will have 12-14 operatives working on this section.

To date we have removed around 390 bags of litter and large quantities of debris including vehicle exhausts and engine parts, vehicle body work including bumpers, mirrors etc., a bed frame, cones and  signage.

Overall, we are very pleased with how the project has proceeded so far.

Tuesday 16 August

We had a very productive shift on the A38 last night. The project went very smoothly again. All the staff worked incredibly hard and we managed to achieve 95% of what we had planned within the time scales allowed.

The extra staff allowed us to make a great job of clearing the wide central verges at the Alfreton A61 island.

Some pictures below show the scale of the litter and debris our teams have removed.

Included in the debris is a sofa but we also collected a toilet and children's slide.

Bearing in mind this was collected in the dark with the aid of helmet lamps, and in the rain, I think the staff did fantastic job!"

12 staff  were on duty to complete the clear up on Tuesday night from the A61 to our boundary at the cranes.

Cabinet Member for Green and Thriving Places to Live portfolio, Councillor Jack Brown MBE said: "The significance of this partnership operation can not be overstated. Without the ability to work along side Aone+ and the willingness of our staff to carry out the potentially dangerous work, which required rigorous, specialised training, it simply would not have been possible.  The pictures of the rubbish cleared are truly shocking and it highlights the scale of the problem we appear to have in terms of litter being dropped on the highways. It is also a despicable habit and an offence."

I would urge anyone to  report those who you see dropping litter from their vehicles and please keep litter in your vehicle".

 Please report those who deliberately drop litter to Amber Valley Borough Council's Customer and Neighbourhoods Unit on 01773 841335.  

For further information please contact Luke Barrett Communications Manager on 01773 841 655 or email

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