Random thoughts on litter picking

Last Monday, I went to help with an event organised with a school and residents association in my ward. They were litter picking over lunchtime, with lots of children and residents on hand to help out.

A local resident has lots of information and pictures here.

Armed with a black bag and litter picker, I spent about an hour and a half wandering up familiar streets picking up small pieces of litter, and, in no particular order, here are the thoughts that occurred to me:

  1. I probably wouldn’t have been so happy to help if the weather hadn’t been quite so good.
  2. A litter picker is no substitute for a broom.
  3. Lots of the litter is stuff that didn’t exist a few decades ago: tin cans, plastic sweet wrappers.
  4. A sizeable proportion of the litter is to do with smoking or drinking: fag packets, cellophane, cigarette butts, broken bottles, lager tins.
  5. There’s an awful lot of litter, even on streets that look relatively clean.
  6. There’s an amazing amount of stuff stuck in hedges that has probably been there years.
  7. There’s no way councils can remove all of this litter on their own.  There has to be a three part approach – council tidying, dropping less litter in the first place, and communities taking charge of their own streets.

One comment on “Random thoughts on litter picking

  1. Michael Thomas says:

    And your efforts were keenly appreciated with the “wonderful” equipment we gave you. I would also like to add in polystyrene fast food packets to the persistant littering offenders. I did what looked like a relatively clean section of Wollaton Road with my new Litter Picker “gift” from the Council. After a full bin bag later I have came to the same conclusions as you. Thanks again. As a glutton for punishment I went back to the School on Saturday and did some more.

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