Our Top Litter Pick Tips!

Organisation: The Rivers Trust

Location: National

Our Top Litter Pick Tips

If you’re thinking about running a litter pick, you’ve come to the right place!

Litter picks are a great way to bring a community together. They can also make a huge difference in your local environment, allowing nature to thrive. Some people find the idea of organising your own litter pick a bit daunting—but it doesn’t have to be!

We’ve created this easy-to-follow guide which answers any questions you may have about organising a litter pick.

1. Where should I carry out my litter pick?

  • Think about areas where you’ve seen lots of litter in the past
  • Ask around the local community for ideas
  • Obtain permission from the landowner
  • Decide on an easily accessible meet-up point, close to where the litter pick is taking place

2. What will I do with the litter?

  • Contact your council; they may be able to help
  • Ensure that your local tip is equipped to accept the kind of rubbish you’re collecting
  • Commercial waste companies will collect rubbish for a fee
  • Try to separate rubbish into recyclable and non-recyclable where possible

3. How will I ensure a good level of Health & Safety?

  • The organiser must visit the site prior to the event in order to carry out a risk assessment
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page to download a blank litter pick risk assessment form!

4. How do I make litter picking fun?

  • Making the litter pick fun is the best way to encourage volunteers!
  • You could do a sponsored litter pick where the litter-picker with the highest sponsorship wins a prize
  • Enlist the help of a local celebrity
  • Most people will do anything for a cup of tea and a biscuit, so providing refreshments can make the event much more successful

5. How do I decide who to target?

  • Advertise your event to local community groups who may be interested in taking part
  • People who spend a lot of time in nature are likely to come out and help, so consider approaching photography groups, outdoor sports groups and dog walkers

6. How will I publicise my event?

  • Send a press release to your local newspaper or radio station
  • Put up posters in places where your target audience will see them
  • Communicate with friends and family
  • Create a public event on Facebook

7. What equipment will I need?

  • Your local council may be able to provide you with some equipment
  • Litter pickers
  • Bin bags (try to provide different options for recyclable vs non-recyclable waste)
  • Protective gloves
  • Hand sanitiser
  • A skip if your event is on the larger side
  • A first aid kit for any accidents

8. What do I need to do on the day?

  • You could ask people to sign a participation form, including giving an emergency contact number
  • Ensure that all of your volunteers know where they need to go and when
  • Check the weather and plan in advance for any changes
  • Go through this risk assessment
  • If you have more people than equipment, consider splitting people into teams of three; one can pick the rubbish, one can hold the bag, and one can record the items they collect 
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