If you intend to involve other volunteers you should consider carrying out a risk assement of your intended route. This form should get you started.
CPRE Northants guide
This tried and tested guide is used by CPRE Northamptonshire to organise community cleanups across 60 villages in Northamptonshire every year.
Information and advice on insurance for community groups from LitterAction.
Where to source your equipment and free posters to download.
Tips from members on how to recruit more volunteers to your group.
We hope that you find our step-by-step recommendations useful. Of course we realise that not all of the advice listed below is going to be relevant because each community group is different. Hopefully the following steps will provide food for thought. As always, if you have a tip that we have missed then do get in touch with us and let us know.
1. Decide where you want to carry out your litter pick. Contact landowners - town, district or county council, farmers, or local estate owners - to make sure you have legal access to the area.
2. Carry out a full risk assessment of the area - see the panel on the right of this page.
3. Make a site map. Note your route and identify locations for first aid, toilets, public phones, useful amenities, break areas and so on.
4. Decide when you will do the pick up.
5. Decide how you will present the clean-up to your volunteers. It can be a straight forward litter pick, or you can have a theme or set a challenge.
6. Rally your volunteers! Try to get support from other groups and individuals to make this a community event. Use posters to advertise the event in shops, libraries and schools.
7. Work out what equipment you will need for the event. For example, gloves, wheelbarrows and refuse bags. Contact the Cleansing or Environmental Health department of your local council who should be able to provide litter picking gadgets, refuse sacks or maybe a skip.
8. Brief volunteers before the event. Make sure they know where and when to meet, what clothes to wear and which equipment to bring.
9. Arrange for waste disposal. Contact your local borough or district council, or dispose of the rubbish yourselves. Make sure you get specialist help for heavy objects.
10. Contact CPRE for free high visibility vests and, for a short period recycled refuse sacks kindly donated by Cromwell Polythene Ltd.
11. Consider getting adequate insurance cover, in case of accidental damage or injury during the event.
12. Get publicity for the event. Call the media or write a brief press release about the clean-up and send it to them.
1. Inform and instruct volunteers. Identify team leaders and make sure volunteers know about health and safety risks, who is responsible for first aid, how to use equipment, the route, timings and so on.
2. Provide volunteers with high visibility vests.
3. Be considerate. Do not disturb animals or damage plants. Don’t remove “natural” rubbish like logs, stones and weeds – they can be “home” to animals. Don’t try and release entangled animals; call the RSPCA if you come across any. Don’t interfere with people not involved in the litter pick.
4. Avoid danger. Make sure all volunteers, particularly children, are aware of what not to pick up. Drug-related litter, for example. Note their location and tell the council.
1. Report the result of the pick. Note the amount of rubbish collected and include this in a press release, or tell your local council. Don't forget to record the information on LitterAction.
2. Try to recycle as much of the rubbish as possible.