Rubbish collectors have been accused of dropping rubbish in The Strand as part of an anti-litter campaign - an allegation denied by district bosses.

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Last week the Journal reported that East Devon District Council (EDDC) had taken part in a national anti-litter ‘stunt’ run by the Keep Britain Tidy charity, when council refuse collectors did not pick up any rubbish from a fenced off area.

The move was intended to show Exmouth’s litter problem and how quickly rubbish built up if residents did not pick up after themselves.

But on Facebook this week, several residents claimed they saw street cleaners ‘empty’ rubbish on to the streets.

Terry Whitmore said: “This morning we witnessed a street cleaner clearly emptying a black bin bag of rubbish collected from around The Strand into the area fenced off for the Keep Britain Tidy campaign... this is false representation.”

But an EDDC spokesman refuted the allegation, saying that on Friday a council worker spotted boys were ‘playing football’ with rubbish they found in the section they were not clearing for three days.

He said: “These items were kicked into the main area of The Strand, which was being kept clear. The next morning, he found the items that had originated in the controlled area and placed these back where they had been before.

“This was done using a litter-picking stick and not by emptying a bin bag.”

“When these youngsters found litter on the ground, they didn’t pick it up and place it in a bin, but instead kicked it into the area that had just been cleaned.

“This incident only serves to underline the main message of the stunt - that litter is not only unsightly but anti-social and that some of us should think about our attitudes to litter.”

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