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Community litter picks

The Council is pleased to help groups who want to help tidy up the district's towns, villages and parks. We can help by providing the equipment you need for a clean up, including litter pickers, gloves, and hi-vis vests. We also pick up and dispose of the rubbish collected and advise on what to do if any dangerous or harmful materials are found.

It is recommended that you read our general safety guidelines for litter picks below and carry out your own risk assessments on the area you wish to cleanse. Where possible we recommend you avoid carrying out litter picks near busy roads especially outside the 30mph zones; if in doubt check with us.

Book a litter pick:

To book equipment and arrange collection for your spring clean, email your details to  or call 0300 1263000.

Before the clean up:

  • Visit the area before the litter pick takes place, access how suitable the site is for a clean up
  • Check whether you need to get permission from a landowner
  • Check for possible dangers - unidentified containers, poisons, broken glass or syringes
  • Ensure that the clean up is manageable in the allotted time. Two short clean ups may be easier to cope with than one long one
  • Choose a suitable assembly point for the start and finish of the event
  • Have a mobile phone available in case of emergencies
  • You may wish to take out personal accident insurance for your volunteers
  • It is advisable to maintain immunisation against polio, typhoid and tetanus and advise volunteers
  • Let volunteers know they should wear warm, waterproof clothing and strong boots or shoes. Strong hardwearing gloves and fluorescent hi-viz tabards should be worn
  • Ensure that arrangements are made for the collection of rubbish with the Waste Team

If there are children involved:

  • Arrange adequate supervision for children - at least one adult per 6 children. Ensure that parents know what clothing and footwear the children need to wear
  • Ensure that you are aware of any relevant medical conditions affecting any of the children
  • Where children are involved, plan on working no longer than two hours

On the day:

  • Make sure that all volunteers know what is expected of them
  • Ensure that all participants meet at the assembly point
  • Take a list of names and addresses and contact numbers in case of accident at the start of the event and ensure that all participants are recorded as having finished at the end of the event

Brief volunteers on:

  • Who the supervisors are
  • Time and place for breaks
  • Washing and any catering facilities
  • Emergency Drill
  • Health and safety precautions including the use of the equipment provided
  • Possible hazards to avoid such as unidentified containers, poisons, broken glass, condoms or syringes and what to do if they find them
  • Where to put the waste for collection

Health and safety precautions:

  • Carry a First Aid Kit and notebook to record incidents. Have a trained first aider present
  • Ensure that everyone knows who the First Aider is and what the Emergency Drill is
  • All participants should wear hardwearing gloves and hi-viz tabards
  • If anybody receives a cut or graze they should refer to a first aider for medical advice
  • Anybody who receives a cut or graze should ensure that they refer to a first aider for medical advice
  • Participants should wash any exposed skin
  • thoroughly after a clean-up and ensure that they wash their hands, arms and clean their fingernails before eating
  • Do not touch eyes or mouth while working
  • Objects become much heavier when wet or embedded in mud. When lifting objects, bend at the knees, don’t bend your back. But don’t risk injuring yourself by lifting anything too heavy. Heavy items that can’t be handled should be left where they are and then reported to the Council
  • Participants should not pick up unidentified containers, asbestos, poisons, broken glass, condoms or syringes but should report these to the Council

After the event:

The Council has been supporting community groups with litter picking equipment for over a decade and during this time the numbers of kits has been dwindling alarmingly as the numbers being returned often does not match the number of those being lent out.

Unfortunately for us to continue to be able to offer this assistance we have no option but to pass on the costs of purchasing replacements to the groups that do not return the equipment when it is loaned to them.

Please be aware that if you borrow the equipment, you may be asked to pay for the cost of replacement.

  • Check that all participants are accounted for
  • Ensure all equipment and protective clothing is returned
  • Ensure all waste is appropriately bagged whilst awaiting collection
  • Ensure that any items that cannot fit into a sack are reported to the Council. Please notify us if you have found any tyres, cylinders or electrical items for example
  • Ensure that any incidents or dangerous waste items have been reported to the Council for removal