Meet the man who has been cleaning the streets of Dumfries for more than 40 years

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Dumfries and Galloway council worker John Henderson has been cleaning the streets of Dumfries for more than 40 years.

He is a well known face in the town, keeping the streets near the Whitesands clear of litter for more than four decades.

Keeping the town tidy has been John's job in Dumfries and one he has loved doing.

Speaking John said: "It is an early start, but I always found that I was an early starter. I always found the earlier you start the quieter it is so you can get more done.

John Henderson has been cleaning the streets of Dumfries for more than 40 years. Credit: ITV

"It gives me some sense of satisfaction, in terms of keeping the place tidy. Hopefully I keep it spick and span."

John says the secret to his success in the role is his keen eye for spotting litter.

He said: "I would say experience. I am always keeping my eyes open. Basically what I do is to pick up anything that seems to standout like a sore thumb.

“The worst thing I have picked up is a dead seagull.

“The bins are usually full, which is surely a good sign. But you can get some takeaway stuff and some of that can be chucked about."

Derek Crichton from Dumfries and Galloway Council explains how dealing with litter in the town is at the top of the council's priority.

He said: "I can guarantee you that litter is on the council’s agenda but it is more than that it is on the top of the agenda because it is the one thing we know the public care about, both for themselves and for our visitors.

“The more bins you provide the problem is the more work you create in trying to empty them. What we have done instead is increased the size of the bins so that they are far bigger now.

"They are also gull proof and that has been a real success in ensuring that we are tackling the real problem we have with gulls as well.

John is a well known face in Dumfries. Credit: ITV

Derek was full of praise for the work that John has done over the last 40 years.

He said: “John goes about his work diligently, quietly, but very effectively. He is one of the few staff that we have that regularly wears out his litter pickers because he is that active.

"Even before he is due to clock in he is out there picking up litter early in the morning and later at night. He clocks a good number of miles in a week and if he was wearing one of these smart watches he would be getting a high number of steps that is for sure."

John is due to retire on the 9 January 2024 although he said he might very well miss the work that he does in Dumfries.

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