Posted: 01.04.21 at 10:57 by LAYTH YOUSIF @HitchinNubNews
The good news is that as lockdown eases the freedoms we once took for granted are returning, including socialising.
The bad news is that in Hitchin, and elsewhere across the country, generally when people meet, they do generate litter.
In fact, over the last few days, up and down the land, including Windmill Hilll and many open parks and spaces in our town, there appears to have been an alarming amount of litter discarded.
Unprecedented levels of littering are partly due to ignorance of behavioural guidelines, but that is no excuse.
As Hitchin resident Hilary Robertson told Nub News: "It’s a shame that some people are just lazy when it comes to dropping litter.
"I don’t believe that most people do it wilfully, but I think they just don’t see any need to take their rubbish home because someone else will tidy up after them.
"Meanwhile, we’re paying contractors to keep our community clean and tidy, when there are plenty of other things our Council Tax could be spent on."
Hilary often litter picks at Oughtonhead, with other community-minded people, while walking their dogs in Hitchin's wonderful beauty spot.
She says people often leave behind the blue plastic bag they’ve used to carry the various bottles, cans and snacks that they enjoy.
"It never ceases to amaze me that they carry a full bag up to a beauty spot and then can’t manage to carry the same bag with the empties in when they go home," Hilary explains, adding: "Judging by the number of beer and spirit bottles I find, it may be because they’re incapable of carrying anything at that point!
"I can’t leave it lying around. Most of it comes home to be sorted for recycling - I’d make a fortune if we went back to the bottle refunds of my youth!"
Reports of littering at Windmill Hill over the last few days have been rife on social media.
The hill, which offers a view of the town has been traditionally used as a meeting place, where people can congregate.
However, sometimes the detritus left behind can look like the aftermath of a music festival.
Sam Collins posted images of littering on his Twitter account @NorthHertsSam saying: "I don't know why some people think it's ok to litter."
As lockdown eases it has once again become a focal point for socialising - leading to large deposits of litter.
North Herts District Council added: "Warmer weather has brought more visitors to our parks but unfortunately littering has also increased.
"Enjoy your visit [to Windmill Hill] but please dispose of your litter responsibly in a bin, or take it home."
So, as the old saying goes: 'Don't be a tosser!'