How to organise a litter pick on your street

Little ones get involved too
Little ones get involved too

Story & Photo: Gareth Coleman

If your street is anything like mine, it's probably carpeted with discarded cans, crisp packets and other rubbish. Inspired by a neighbour in the next street, I decided to follow her example and organise a litter pick.

It was easier than I thought and the first pick in April went well, with a dozen neighbours coming out to clean the street together. As well as making Scott Road look nicer, I also chatted with some neighbours I'd never talked to before, which was a real bonus.

It does help if you have a neighbour or two to start off with – just to break the ice – although don't be discouraged if you don't. Once you set a date and publicise it, you will be bound to get a few people joining you.

So once you've set a time and a date (make it at least two weeks in the future), the next step is to speak with Naomi Hinch at the Council (0114 203 7562 or who can help you arrange the equipment and publicity. Put a flyer through everyone's door and put a poster or two up if you can. Amey will drop off some litter-picking sticks and plastic bags for you a few days before the pick.

On the day itself, make sure you count out the picking sticks as kids seem to love them and may not want to hand them back at the end! It is good if you can put recyclable items like cans and plastic bottles in green bags and general rubbish in black ones but don't worry too much if they get a bit mixed up or you just put everything into the same bags.

After it's all over, you should have a few bags of rubbish and all the sticks you started with. Amey will come and collect the bags as arranged and you can enjoy your lovely clean street. But don't expect it to last for too long – after a few days you'll start seeing litter again. It feels like painting the Forth Bridge but that's how it is. You'll just have to have another one next month and do it all over again!

Hopefully over time you will make a lasting difference because, when people see litter around them, they are more likely to drop it themselves, but a lovely clean street discourages people from being the first to muck it up. Good luck!

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The content on this page was added to the website by Graham Jones on 2015-05-28 13:48:40.
The content of the page was last modified by Gaby Spinks on 2016-10-07 10:49:59.

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