Litter is a problem all over the UK, regardless of town, county or affluence. It is unreasonable to expect our local councils to pick every piece of rubbish from every street in the UK. So we have waged a war on litter, because taking responsibility for causing the problem in the first place is the first step to solving the problem.
It can take as little as two hours and a ten people to clean up a small area of a village or housing estate, but the impact on the local community is huge.
Gomshall is a tiny village between Guildford and Dorking in Surrey. The A25 runs through the village and the traffic litter, fly tipping and community rubbish is responsible for 90% of the litter that can be found here.
The River Tillingbourne runs through the village and eventually makes it's way to the Thames and litter from our community could be making it's way to the ocean.
We decided it was about time we took responsibility, so we organised a community litter collection.
Getting volunteers was surprisingly easy. As it turns out, lots of people in the community are annoyed by the sight of rubbish and are only too happy to help clean up
We put up posters, circulated a post on local Facebook pages (buy and sell, mother and parenting groups etc.) and advertised in the local Parish magazine. With 1 week to go, we had 25 volunteers.
The council provided all the equipment we needed, bags, litter pickers, gloves and high-vis vests and we arranged for them to collect everything from a central collection point the following week.
It is important to note that the collection should have taken place on 11th March, but we were snowed off. Some of the previous 25 volunteers were unable to make the revised date, so we had 12 volunteers on this day. Twelve may not sound like very many, but just look at what everyone collected!
The reality is actually much worse than these pictures, because this is only two thirds of what was collected. On the way around we managed to fill all of the litter bins in the village too.
In an effort to improve general well-being, we cleaned the village signs and planted flowers around the village which were kindly donated by Homebase in Godalming.
If you are bothered by the amount of rubbish you see in your home town, you can help too. If you are feeling inspired to do something about it, get in touch.