Organise a Litter Picking Event

Litter Picking

If you are looking to reduce the amount of waste within your neighbourhood, why not organise a litter picking event? Not only will it bring the community together, but you can reduce the amount of litter in the neighbourhood dramatically.

Litter within the UK is a real problem. Over 25 million tonnes of rubbish was dropped in the UK last year. Meaning that neighbourhoods are unfortunately becoming spoilt. This behaviour means the RSPCA receives around 14 calls per day regarding animals that have been hurt by litter. Do your bit today and organise a local litter picking event!

1. Litter Picking Planning

  • If you are looking to litter pick in your local area, you will need to contact either the council or the landowner to see whether you have legal access to these areas. Landowners may include farmers or local estate owners who own large plots of land.
  • Due to the number of people that will be present, a full risk assessment will need to be completed. This is especially relevant if little children are helping.
  • Visit the litter picking site before the event takes place, just to be sure that there are no additional issues that could become hazardous.
  • Decide the route your litter pick will take and the dates you are thinking of, so you are able to put on a few meetings beforehand. This allows all taking part to be in ‘the know’. Other information to deliberate may include the type of clothing they should wear and any equipment they could bring.
  • Consider suitable clothing, including footwear such as boots and old jogging bottoms and t-shirts. It is essential that thick gloves are worn precautionarily. This keeps you safe, should any litter have sharp edges or even be contaminated.
  • Decide if you would like a litter picking theme or specific challenge in order to make the event more fun. 
  • Should you need any additional equipment, contact your local council and see whether they have anything that you could borrow for the day.

2. The Actual Event

  • We suggest dividing the litter picking group into teams. Then assign team leaders so the team knows who to inform, should there be any issues. Team leaders should know potential health and safety risks and be able to manage both adults and children.
  • Provide all members of the litter picking group with high visibility vests. This will help make the community aware
  • Explain the hazards of glass and dog waste before leaving the meeting point to ensure that all members of the litter pick are aware. Glass is unsafe for obvious reasons. However, dog waste contains germs such as E-coli and can cause blindness if rubbed near the eyes.
  • If you notice any animals who happen to be in danger or entangled with any waste, call the RSPCA immediately. Don’t try and disturb the animals by lifting them.
  • If your group comes across any glass, an adult should sweep it into a dustpan and brush. Don’t try and dispose of it by hand, regardless of whether you are wearing gloves – just to be on the safe side.
  • Be wary of any dangers; for instance, any drug-related litter. If you do notice anything of this sort, inform the council. The council will then deal with your request in a timely fashion, don’t try and remove it yourself.

3. What To Do Afterwards

  • After the litter pick, inform the council of the litter you have collected. It is also a good idea to write up a press release for the local papers. Helping to inform the neighbourhood of your successes.
  • Separate the waste collected and take it to a local recycling bank. The waste that can not go through into normal recycling should go into a normal litter bin. 

Some FAQ's

Where can I get litter picking equipment?

Although there are many different places you can get your litter picking equipment, this Litter Picker is perfect for sustained use and is used by a large number of local authorities already!

What other litter picking equipment will I need?

Along with a litter picker, a hoop to hold the refuse sack, gloves and high visibility vests are incredibly useful. 

If you are organising a litter pick don't forget a mobile phone for emergencies, a first aid kit, a camera and don't forget some refreshments!

Are there litter picks near me?

It is likely there is! Keep Britain Tidy has a national Facebook group to help you find local litter picks. They also have a huge range of additional information here.

When is the best time to do a litter pick?

Apart from the obvious (whenever there is litter), summer is a good opportunity to get out pick litter and get to know your community. The added bonus of longer daylight hours and warmer weather will definately help.

We hope that this has inspired you to start your own litter picking event, helping to make your community slightly nicer! If you’d like to read any more interesting articles on all things litter bins, check out the rest of our blog.

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