The day dawned on our first litter pick in our local area. The weather was good, I had loads of offers of help and we handed out all our grabbers and hi-vis jackets and cleared massive amount of litter from the streets.
Then I woke up….
Sadly, I think the awful storm we the day before had put many people off and as the day dawned I had had no offers of help from the flyers we and the church had distributed. In addition to this, both myself and my husband John had been ill and John, who was a few days behind me with the cold, was just not well enough to join me.
Luckily, my dear friend Jane (of metasequoia fame, see Hilliers post), had agreed to join us and completely saved the day as I would have felt very lonely without her!
Undaunted, I loaded the car up, and drove to the meeting place, a local park. We arrived, and as expected, there was no one else there, so we just got on with it.
As you can see, the council had supplied us well with grabbers, hi-vis jackets, heavy duty bags and bag rings. I knew the rings would help to keep the bags open but had not actually seen one so I was interested to see how they looked and worked.
It is not easy to see from the photo, but the rings consist of two parts which separate. You fold the top of the bag over one part and then push the green ring back on. It snaps in and holds the bag open. This makes things so much easier. They also have a bit of weight to them which was helpful as things were still pretty windy.
The council could only give me one set of bags. I wanted to separate out the recycling, glass and general waste, so I simply made out labels that could be stuck on.
We left the car and looked up the road. This is how it looked when we arrived….
…and when we left….
…and that was just two of us working for an hour.
Of course that didn’t take up the whole hour, and we quite quickly moved up to the area you can see in the picture where the two trees are.
Here is a bit of it after we had picked.
As we moved up following the metal barrier, we found an unloved piece of ground that was clearly being just used as a dumping ground.
We spent the rest of our hour there. Much of the rubbish was glass bottles so we were very careful to keep an eye out for broken glass and we ALWAYS used our grabbers.
There were some things that we simply could not move…..
….so I will be contacting the council and they will collect them.
Here is the result of our hour – two bags each of glass, recycling and general waste. Later on that day, I took them all to the local waste and recycling area. Those of you who know about the Millbrook roundabout situation will appreciate that this was a longer journey that normal!
It was such a satisfying thing to do and it really has made me realise what a difference can be made. Regardless of how many people join me next time, I will be litter picking on the second Saturday of the month for the forseeable future.
If somewhere looks unloved it will be treated as such. It won’t be respected, and it will get worse, we need to break the cycle and I truly believe litter picking can contribute towards doing just that.