A Southampton man is on a mission to keep a green space clean outside of a busy supermarket after it was persistently used as a dumping ground for beer bottles, cans, and wrappers.

For over a year, Shirley resident Tony Weafer has walked up and down Shirley Road, noticing rubbish building up in a flowerbed outside Lidl on a daily basis.

Having notified staff members at the store – who he says took no action to remove the litter – Tony took matters into his own hands, enlisting the help of people in the community to tidy the flowerbed and remove the rubbish.

The 69-year-old told the Echo: “It started in the early part of last year and having previously removed the rubbish then, I’ve already had to do it again twice this year, as the store simply don’t want to know anything about it.”

READ MORE: Residents slam Southampton traffic scheme outside school

Daily Echo:

Spearheading a small team – Sid, Andy, and Deano – the trio transferred the rubbish into four black bin bags and a green waste bin on Easter Sunday.

However, a little over two weeks later and the flowerbed has returned to being a litter hotspot, with passers-by freely disposing of their waste amongst the plants.

“It’s so frustrating,” said Tony.

“I managed to get some homeless friends of mine to clean the area but without Lidl maintaining the plot there’s little we can do – it’s already cost me over £100 this year.

Daily Echo:

“We could work with Lidl but they don't do anything, they're just not interested and won't communicate with you, which is a huge shame because they rely on the community."

He added: “All they would need to do would be to install a bin just a few yards away from the entrance of the store by the flowerbed and people would be more inclined to get rid of their rubbish the right way, it’s embarrassing.”

Last weekend, Tony even went as far as moving bins from the entrance of the store a few yards into the road, situating them by the flowerbed to see how it would look and took a picture in the process, with two people walking by using the bins in that time.

However, Tony was shortly greeted by a member of staff and a security guard who promptly moved the bins back to the entrance of the store, with the security guard even removing Tony's hat and taking it with him inside.

"He obviously had nothing better to say to me," Tony remarked.

Daily Echo:

In a statement, a spokesperson for Lidl told the Echo: “We take great pride in providing our customers with a pleasant environment, both in and outside of our stores.

“Whilst our store team regularly carries out checks and we have bins in place for public use, we recognise that it’s a particularly busy area of the high street and unfortunately rubbish is not always disposed of correctly.

“We are grateful to the members of the community who generously volunteer their time to help tackle this challenge and can confirm that we will be installing two additional bins to help further encourage responsible waste disposal.”