Litter-picking heroes clear thousands of miles

1st Potten End Brownies

In May and June 2021, our Great British Spring Clean campaign succeeded in becoming one of the biggest, most successful community action events this year. Volunteers from around the borough helped clear more than 500 bags of litter, 200 of which were recyclable litter. A large number of fly tips around local streets, parks and green spaces were also reported and cleared.

The annual event saw a combined effort from 1,030 volunteers - made up of individuals, families, schools, scout groups, brownies (such as 1st Potten End Brownies, pictured), businesses and local charities. Some had participated in previous Spring Cleans while others experienced their first litter pick. Together these litter heroes put in around 950 hours of picking over the two-month campaign.

This year, Keep Britain Tidy, which runs the national Great British Spring Clean campaign, added the new target of litter picking a million miles around the UK. This ambitious goal was easily accomplished with a final count of 1.1 million miles litter picked. Local Dacorum volunteers helped contribute almost 3,000 miles, nearly the same distance as London to New York.

Councillor Graham Barrett, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, said: “The dedication and enthusiasm displayed by our local volunteers has been wonderful to see. Thank you to all those that stepped up to help with the cleaning efforts, serving as community role models and leading by example.”

During the campaign, many participants revealed their surprise at how much litter was laying around the borough. The most common items found were bottles and cans, crisp packets, cigarette butts and face masks. Preventing litter starts with making sure rubbish is always placed in a street bin. If there are no street bins nearby or the bins are full, rubbish should be taken home where it can be disposed of or recycled properly.

Following this advice can help protect others in the community as well as the environment.

The Great British Spring Clean may be the most popular time for litter picking but you can get litter-picking support all year round. We loan litter pickers and provide refuse and recycling bags for community litter-picking events at any time of year. If you're interested in frequent or casual litter picks, then sign up to our Street Champions scheme. Learn more about our community litter-picking programmes by visiting our Community litter picks page.