Following my very first blog post when John and I did a one hour litter pick in Nursling and Rownhams, I was keen to join a similar group in my local area.
John and I try to do a 10 min walk after every meal. As it is only 10 minutes, we walk the streets near us, and noted that there is an area by the dual carriageway that could really do with a clean up, so I began searching online for a local group to join.
Looking online brought up a number of clean up campaigns, Keep Britain Tidy, and Litter Action to name but two, but couldn’t find any planned litter picking events near us. It appears that there aren’t any in our local area.
Next step was to go on the local council website. They do mention community clean ups and suggest you email them to find a group near you. I received a speedy reply to my email saying that there were no groups in my area, but if I wanted to go ahead and do a litter pick, they could provide the equipment.
Setting up our own group? Well that would be interesting and certainly would add some hours into the GoT tally.
Sounds simple? Well it is, but then you get to thinking…..
- Shall we just do a one-off litter picking event, or set up a regular one?
- If we do a regular one, how often and when?
- Health and safety? (you knew that one was coming, right?)
- Busy dual carriageway – risk assessments?
- How do we notify people in the local area?
- If you send out flyers, how much personal information should you share about yourself when you are essentially telling a lot of people you will be out of your house for an hour?
- Local council will lend you equipment, but how do you know how much to get?
- What do you do about large items, or items that our local recycling centre will not take e.g. car tyres?
Some of the questions have been easy to answer and here are some of them.
- We are planning to organise a regular event on the 2nd Saturday of every month and will try and cover a different area each time.
- On Facebook there is a page set up by local residents for an exchange of information, so that could be used to tell people about the litter pick.
- If we do a flyer drop (through people’s letterboxes) we will simply put an email address as a contact.
- Council have suggested that if we leave bulky on nonrecyclable items visible and inform them, they will pick them up.
We contacted the organiser of the litter pick we did in Nursling and Rownhams and asked them for advice. As expected they came back very quickly and were supportive and keen to help. They run their litter pick with support from their local church and their local borough council.
In fact their borough council that has a very useful page for community litter picks with health and safety guidelines and risk assessments that they have for their community litter picking groups. It has given us ideas of documents we can set up ourselves and send to Southampton City Council for their input/agreement.
That is as far as we have got, but I feel quite fired up about it and very keen to make it happen so – watch this space.