If you’ve ever participated in a charity organized litter pick, then you already know that there’s some pretty disgusting stuff in the rubbish clearance that litter bugs fly tip! It’s not uncommon to find used condoms, needles left behind by heroin addicts, and lots of dog poo too. However, these nasty items do not make up the bulk of the rubbish clearance found on litter picks.
According to data collected and collated by the mobile phone app, “Love Clean Streets,” the most frequently found items during litter picking is food packaging and food. This largest category of rubbish clearance makes up twenty-three percent of the total. A close second place and third place are alcoholic beverage containers and packaging (twenty-two percent of the total) and other beverage containers and packaging (twenty percent of the total). Thus, food and drink packaging makes up a total of sixty-five percent of the total rubbish clearance found in litter picks. This includes data from both organized litter picks and people out litter picking on their own or with friends and family.
Other waste removal items frequently reported on the “Love Clean Streets” app are tissues, gum wrappers, cigarette ends, cigar ends, match sticks, match boxes, disposable lighters, tobacco product packaging, and of course dog feces. In fact, dog poo is a whopping five percent of the total rubbish clearance litter reported. Collectively, these types of items make up about thirty-five percent of the total rubbish clearance found while litter picking.
Now, there’s also been some incredibly unusual rubbish clearance items found during litter picks and beach clean ups. For example, on one roadside litter pick, a grand piano was discovered! Keeping with this musical theme, a nice pair of maracas were also found. Amazingly too, litter picking crews often find paper money! In most litter picks, the unofficial “rule” is you get to keep any money you find. However, many good-hearted litter pickers actually donate this money to the charity sponsoring the event or they use it to pay for a pizza party for the volunteers.
The “Love Clean Streets” app is supported and fully publicized by three key organizations: Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy. This massive exposure has led to a great deal of very helpful consumer data being submitted. This database will become increasing valuable as the data submitted over time grows. For example, it can be used to gage the effectiveness of various efforts to reduce rubbish clearance litter.
Thank goodness, there’s a glimmer of good news found in the rubbish clearance data from litter picks. The latest Great British Beach Clean data shows that plastic beverage bottles, plastic beverage lids, plastic cups, and paper cups are all down. Educational campaigns on how to bin your rubbish clearance in recycling receptacles, and why you should, do seem to be having an impact.
According to a report by the UK Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, people are more likely to litter or fly tip their rubbish clearance in a given area if the area already shows obvious signs of littering. Therefore, litter picking and the removal of fly tipped rubbish is a volunteer effect that has significant impact beyond the actual volunteer effort. This is excellent news for charity organizers of litter picks. They can stress the continued long-term positive benefit of their crowd sourced litter pick.
Some people volunteer to remove illegal rubbish clearance to atone for past misdeeds. They may have been a litter bug in their younger days or perhaps fly tipped their rubbish clearance when they fell on financial hard times. At any rate, organizers for charity sponsored litter picks can reach out to past offenders and let them know this is an excellent way to make up for what they’ve done in the past. In fact, some of these past offenders make the best recruiters of new litter pickers because they understand in a very personal way the underlying reasons that people litter and fly tip. This helps them convince current offenders why they should change their ways and maybe even help clean up their mess.
Besides litter picking, another way to help with the ongoing rubbish clearance crisis is to reduce the amount of your own rubbish that goes to landfills. In fact, the more you can reduce this the better! If you live in the UK, one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to schedule bookings with Clearabee. You can schedule ongoing weekly pickups or just call them whenever you have the need to clear some rubbish.
Clearabee is a private rubbish clearance company that has put in place unique procedures and methods that allows them to divert more than ninety percent of all the rubbish they collect from landfills! Their service is also far more convenient than the rubbish clearance services offered by councils, both in terms of scheduling and in the various options they offer.