It's the Big Spring Clean and we need volunteers for the litter pick and for sorting at the village hall!

It's spring, the days are getting brighter and longer and it's a great time to clean up our area before the greenery grows and hides it all for another year! This year, is going to be different for two reasons: COVID lockdown and we're planning to be more data focused on the litter we collect as a community.

When is it?

On Saturday 13 March 2021 we will be coordinating the collected litter, provided the weather is appropriate. Litter can be collected on any day leading up to that date. It is important to read the notes below for guidance.

Lockdown rules

The biggest change as of Monday 8th March is we will be able to meet one other person from another household socially outside, so we will be able to litter sweep with  anyone from your household or a friend or family member from another. It is still very important to observe the government rules, but working outside, each with your own equipment, it should be easily possible to comply and help clean our area!


Litter sweeping on most routes is safe if the following are observed:

  • Use grabbers where possible, especially where the litter is sharp or unhygienic - we can help you source or borrow some
  • Young children will need supervision, even with grabbers
  • Use routes with a footway where possible, especially with children, some who may fixate on the litter and forget the traffic
  • Do not collect hazardous litter such as broken glass, sharp cans, needles, asbestos etc,  - it is best reported to the council. Sharp items will tear your bag and can cut easily cut you through the bag. Children will need to be supervised to ensure they do not pick up anything dangerous to them.
  • If your bag is becoming heavy, tie it shut and notify us of the location using the contacts below. 
  • Do not try to clear any oversized litter or fly tipping. You can report this to South Glos Street Care or you can let us know and we'll notify them in one report on your behalf.
  • Avoid dangerous plants or terrain - it's always tempting to try and get litter that is out of reach, but it can be in a dangerous location or surrounded by prickly or harmful plants. Your welfare is more important than collecting every last piece of litter.
  • Always observe COVID good practice: hands, face, space. Remain in household groups unless your group complies with the 8 March changes. Use face masks when dropping off. Sanitise your hands well before and after.

Volunteers should not participate in litter picks unless they understand and accept that participation is entirely at their own risk. Volunteers are not working for, or on behalf of Winterbourne and Frome Valley Environmental Group or the local councils and they cannot be held liable for any loss, damage or injury caused as a result of the actions and omissions of volunteers. 


How should I contact you?

To get updates, notify us of your route or bags to be collected, you can either:

The WhatsApp or Signal group will be the best way to communicate if you are able.

How can I notify you of a bag location

Most messaging applications have a location option which will send a map location to us. If you do not have a smart phone, call us and clearly describe the location to us. We can also use What3words to pinpoint your location.


Which areas are you covering

We are covering a wide area of the Frome Valley with Winterbourne as the focal point. We'd love to see litter collection to the South and West including Hambrook, Frenchay and Moorend, the east to Kendleshire and towards the north corner of Frampton. If you are collecting from the further edges, we would be very grateful if you could drop your litter to us to avoid longer collection journeys.

Where should I start or end?

To reduce contact, we are asking people this year to start the route near their home and either finish their route at All Saints Church Hall, Church Road, Winterbourne Down, or send a message on one of the contact channels above to have your bags picked up.

Which road(s) should I clear?

In order to avoid duplication of effort and get the best coverage possible, please let us know which routes you intend on clearing. We'll add your name to the route on a map which we will maintain. We can also allocate routes to you based on your location and who is clearing with you.

When should I do it?

You can do your litter pick at any time in the week if you choose, but we ask that you hold on to the litter until Saturday 13th March and either bring it to us between 10AM and 2PM or notify us of your location. 

Please don't put the litter in your black bin or arrange separate collection as we'll be sorting the litter and recording the data.

What should I collect?

Any litter that is small and light enough to carry in a sack. It would be extra helpful to bag cans, wrappers, bottles in a separate bag from general unrecyclable waste. This will make the sorting process easier. This is not mandatory and it can be quite difficult to juggle multiple bags, particularly if you are alone.


The following equipment will be needed. We can loan most of these if you do not already have them:

  • Bags for the litter - thicker bags are better to avoid splitting. Reuse bags where possible. If you want your bags returned, please let us know and we endeavour to do so.
  • Gloves (optional if using grabbers) - we have gloves available
  • Grabber (optional) these make it much easier to pick objects in bushes and are more sanitary for unhygienic litter - give us good notice and we can supply you.
  • Warm clothing
  • High visibility clothing - a good mix of colours is advisable to stay visible near the road

Sorting, documenting and recycling

When the litter is returned to the community hall, the following will happen

  • Separating into piles by producer
  • Documenting the piles 
  • Separating into separate secure bags by recycling types
  • South Glos Street Care will collect the bags of recycling and waste
  • We will use the data collected to help improve local litter management and further campaign the producers and government for better schemes such as deposit return, as well as inspire other areas to add to our data.

What else can I do to help?

  • We'd welcome more volunteers to help us sort the litter at the community centre. This will be COVID safe and outside, using pickers and bags to ensure good hygiene. You do not need to be there all day - any time you can spare would be really appreciated. 
  • If you have a van, truck or pickup, we can run a more efficient operation if anyone is able to pick up bags left on routes and drop off at the community centre. 

If you have any other questions, please do get in contact and we'll add any questions and answers to this post.+

Risk assessments

WEG Risk Assesssments 13 March 2021 Litter Picking v1.docx.pdf

WEG Risk Assesssments Generic Litter Picking v1.docx.pdf

Posted in Community, Litter on Mar 07, 2021


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