Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Rubbish from A to Z : V is for Volunteers

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Rubbish from A to Z : V is for Volunteers

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Rubbish from A to Z

V is for Volunteers

Britain needs you!

You can’t have missed that the litter problem around the UK is getting worse as we emerge from lockdown.

We need to do something about it or our streets, beaches, and beauty spots will continue to get spoiled, more wildlife will be harmed, and the planet won’t be as beautiful or safe for future generations.

Solving the litter problem is not just a job for local councils and the government, it’s up to us to take action and not be part of the problem. There’s no better way to do that than to join the growing army of volunteers who have made it their mission to tackle the blight of litter.

Join forces with Keep Britain Tidy

Keep Britain Tidy is behind some of the most effective and far-reaching anti-litter campaigns and clean up projects in the UK.

Volunteers are a huge part of everything they do, and in the past year alone, 560,000 people helped to tackle litter across the country.

How can you get involved?

Keep Britain Tidy has a number of projects you can get involved with, if you want to help with the fight against litter in your local area:


Keep Britain Tidy has a national network of volunteers, from people who take it upon themselves to pick litter each day on their daily walks to those who set up litter picking groups in their area.

Fancy being a #Litterhero?

You can join in with the rescheduled Great British Spring Clean which is running from 11th-27th September.

You can:

  • Sign up to host a clean-up
  • Create your own volunteer group
  • Join a clean-up near you

Ocean Recovery Project

Are you a beach lover?

Back in 2016, Keep Britain Tidy launched a project in south west England to recover and recycle the litter collected during beach cleans.

Volunteers collected 165 tonnes of plastic during 1200 beach cleans, and Keep Britain Tidy saw that there was a definite need to do something with the litter other than sending it to landfill or the incinerator.

To date, the Ocean Recovery Project has recycled over 20 tonnes of material.

The litter collected from the beaches is taken to Exeter City Council's Materials Recycling Facility where it is sorted and sent for further processing.

The project also works closely with the fishing industry to help recover and recycle fishing net and other fishing-related litter. It works with a company called Odyssey Innovation to turn recycled fishing nets into plastic pellets that are used to make Kayaks.

Take pride in your region

If you want to love where you live that little bit more and make it a nicer place to live, visit, and work, you can join in with one of Keep Britain Tidy’s regional projects.

RiverCare and BeachCare in East Anglia

This project is managed by Keep Britain Tidy and funded by Anglian Water. It supports the hundreds of volunteers who work to keep their local beaches and waterways clean, safe, and healthy. As part of the project, volunteers carry out litter surveys, survey wildlife, and carry out clean ups.

BeachCare in the South West

This programme is supported by South West Water and Sharps Brewery, and has carried out nearly 1000 beach cleans in Devon and Cornwall.

Beach clean groups are set up, then they are given the equipment and support they need to keep their local beaches clean and tidy.

Volunteers have so far removed more than 137 tonnes of litter from beaches and are now looking to start a project to find ways to recycle it.

WatersideCare in the Midlands

WatersideCare is a partnership between Keep Britain Tidy, the Canal & River Trust, Severn Trent Water, and the Environment Agency. It works with volunteers across the Midlands, helping them keep local streams, rivers, lakes, and canals clean and safe.

Volunteers pick litter, carry out wildlife surveys, and test the quality of the water. There are sixty groups running currently so in you’re in the Midlands, check out where your nearest one is and sign up to do some good.


Litterforce is a great new project that’s being piloted in Manchester. In partnership with Walking With The Wounded, the military charity for injured veterans, Keep Britain Tidy is piloting a volunteer litter picking and clean up programme in Manchester.

The programme will recruit veterans and help them reintegrate back into civilian life, help them use their skills, meet new people, and do something worthwhile.

There are so many opportunities to get involved in some amazing litter projects.

How will you help to transform your local community and protect our planet from the scourge of litter?