It’s fair to say that the UK suffers with a fair few litter problems. There are litter bans of course and plenty of litter bins lined up along our streets, but still you’ll see empty wrappers, cans and bottles on the pavements and grass in our local neighbors’ gardens. You’ll also see dog owners falling foul of the laws which demand they pick up their mess and it means our community areas are looking a lot less green and flowery than they once did. However, there are things you can do to change this.
Plan a Clean-up
Why not get together with your neighbors, friends and volunteers and organise a clean-up. Invite anybody you think would like to get involved and even bring along the kids and their friends to get the whole community involved. It’s especially important to involve young people as they’re amongst the worst offenders when it comes to messing up the community space.
You should also set a specific date for your clean-up and advertise it well – perhaps use social networks as well as local community centers. It also makes sense to contact your local council who should be more than happy to help. You may find they provide you with litter pickers, bin bags, gloves and other equipment you might need for your clean-up. They can also pick up all the litter you collect and in the case there is fly-tipping in your area you can also get them to remove this.
You can organise your litter pickers into groups and then give them specific areas to cover which are both manageable and easy enough to sort out. Areas should be fair so you don’t have groups clearing through heavily littered areas and others picking up a few cans. If you can provide drinks and snacks for your volunteers to show your appreciate and make sure the job is done. If this means starting small then so be it and then you can organise further cleanups and sort out the entire area.
Graffiti is a problem that can’t really be tackled by your volunteers and is something you’ll need to discuss with a professional company. Professionals have the necessary equipment to ensure the graffiti can be fully cleaned off. Another option is to keep an eye out for the offenders and report them where possible. It may sound like a risky move but it’s the most sensible option if you want to see the area completely graffiti free.
If you have any waste ground after your clean-up then why not consider planting some flowers? Simple flowerbeds can make all the difference and because it’s a community project you may even be able to get your local garden centre to donate plants. Getting them planted is easy enough and it’ll help your neighbourhood look even more attractive. Keeping on top of the maintenance, watering and such like can be something you do as a community too.
Keeping your community clean is a long-term job and something you need to keep on top of. It does take some organisation and keeping it clean will make it a more enjoyable place.