Organising a community litter pick is a rewarding endeavour which brings like-minded people together with a focus on a common goal. It actively encourages people to think twice before dropping litter in the future and demonstrates a commitment to keeping your local environment clean and tidy.
The first thing you need to decide is what is the specific goal for your litter pick event. Are you aiming to clean up a local landmark or area that has seen a lot of litter dropped there over the years? Perhaps you are wanting to raise awareness of the subject by inviting the press along so your efforts are seen by a wider audience? If you set out with specific goals in mind it allows you to keep focus and plan your efforts around activities that will maximise your returns.
Some important things to consider during the planning stage for your event are:
- Is this to be a dedicated event solely focused on picking up litter or will it be part of a wider event that is perhaps already taking place in order to get more people involved.
- Where is everybody going to meet? You need to choose a place that is going to be easy to find and that is familiar to everybody attending.
- Will you be providing the litter picking equipment for all participants or are you asking them to bring their own?
- How do you plan to dispose of the litter at the end of the event? You don’t want everything to end up in landfill so it’s important to develop a strategy that is going to see most of the litter you find recycled.
- Don’t forget to check the weather. There is nothing that stops people attending a litter pick event more than if the weather is really bad with wind and rain. People will be less likely to leave the comfort of their own homes in these circumstances.
Get Businesses & People Involved
You don’t have to do everything alone and when you start reaching out to people and businesses and explain what you are doing you will be surprised how willing people are to get involved. You might also be able to partner with a company like Waterhaul who make litter picking equipment out of recycled fishing nets and ghost gear.
Consider reaching out to local businesses and asking them to either donate their time, equipment and services in return for you mentioning them on any social media channels you have.
It would also be worth talking to local groups in your area such as schools, scouts, churches and environmental groups as they may be interested in joining your efforts.
Think about how you are going to spread the word about your litter picking event and get more people involved. Local community groups on Facebook are a great way to spread the word. You might also put up posters around the local area or put leaflets through peoples doors.
Equipment You Will Need
Keeping yourself and everybody who attends the event safe should be at the forefront of your mind. Whether you are providing equipment for everybody to use yourself or asking them to bring their own, you’ll need to try and obtain the following:
- Litter Picking Equipment – Gloves, Refuse Sacks, Litter Pickers, Shovels and any safety equipment will need to be sourced.
- Secure Containers – You’ll need to ensure that any sharp or dangerous materials that you find have a safe and secure container to put them in so that you can carry them without the risk of personal harm or harm to others.
- A Means To Transport The Rubbish – You may be surprised just how much litter you collect so you’ll need to have a way to transport this to the recycling centre or wherever you end destination is for the rubbish you collect.
Maximise The Media Attention
Your local media will be very interested in your event and are likely to want to cover it if you reach out to them and explain what you are doing. This is a good way to maximise your efforts by not only doing a great thing by picking up the litter in the first place, but educating others about the problem of litter being dropped and encouraging people to more conscious of doing so in the future. You will also find that future events you run will have more people attend as they will have seen the coverage from your first event.
If the media aren’t able to attend in person, make sure you take lots of photos and videos of the event that you can send them afterwards to use.
If you have a clear objective, then organising a litter pick should pose you no problems at all and will be a great way to bring together your local community. Ensure you are prepared for all stages of the event and that you advertise and generate publicity well both before and after event.
Article Submitted By Community Writer