Lerryn's initial regular litter pick on school runs etc has grown into something involving a huge group of people who are determined to clean up our streets, literally, and make the Borough a place to enjoy and be proud of.
Lerryn has had regular meetings with EEBC, and the KEET group had a productive Zoom with them recently. Through the KEET Facebook page – Keep Epsom and Ewell Tidy – she’s got people to pledge to be litter pickers on the Council’s website. They now have nearly 1000 pledges, many coming in each time after she advertises it on the KEET page. For the first Boroughwide litter pick on 1 April, EEBC Street Care Team provided staff to collect the rubbish and recycling at dedicated drop off points and also clear up any fly tipping reported. There is another Borough litter pick on 31st May, with hot spots identified and the Council will support this as before. We have another three Boroughwide litter picks planned for 2021.
One of the hot spots identified is the path (Snakey Alley) running between Epsom Sainsbury’s and Glyn School towards the Kingsway. She’s been able to get both Sainsbury’s and Glyn School on board and there will be a Zoom between them, EEBC and KEET next month. Following on from this Zoom all four groups, along with Neil Dallen and Clive Woodbridge, E&E Councillors, will walk the path. KEET’s intention is that EEBC, Sainsbury’s and Glyn will take the lead in the clear up operation and maintaining the path.
One of our team runs the Epsom Sustainability Facebook page and with that in mind KEET has been talking to EEBC about some other initiatives to help improve our Borough. So far we have discussed; how grass areas can be left unmowed for a while to allow wildlife to thrive; Council provision of bulbs for planting under street signs; issues with weekly refuse collections; Apps/technology to alert EEBC to where daily litter pick bags are left for collection and also fly tipping; provision of different coloured bags so that Council staff and Rangers can easily identify waste and recycling and deal with them appropriately.
Many litter pick along the Hogsmill. SERT Hogsmill River Guardians are able to feed information and report between the two groups. The guardians hope to involve schools in community work and, if possible, DoE community projects too. The Scouting movement is already involved and several packs have carried out litter picks using the child size pickers EEBC has given them.
Aware of the requirements for GDPR and H&S, both EEBC and KEET have published safety advice for those litterpicking and one of our Group is working on GDPR.
So far, sponsorship has come from Epsom Specsavers (150 Hi Vis jackets in 3 sizes) and Ewell CoOp who have donated Hi Vis jackets and 2 adult pickers. We need more adult sized litter pickers so that we can hand these out on the Boroughwide litter pick days and also on an ad hoc basis to individuals. We will need to keep a record of who has borrowed them, hence the need for GDPR. We continue to seek sponsorship and are also approaching Ewell Rotary for support.
The main outlet for publicity is through Facebook pages. Whats On in Epsom has been asked to publicise the Borough litter pick on 31st May and we hope that he may come along too. We also use Twitter. Word of mouth and Whats App is also a valuable tool in getting KEET out there. I am investigating how E&E u3a can be involved.
With advice from my Rotary publicity contact I’ve suggested that we ask the Council if we can advertise on their Community Notice Boards, on the litter bins and in Borough Insight. The Council has advertised the May 31st litter pick in the recent Insight. We will also advertise KEET events using contacts established by Martin. If Rotary is able to help with printing or with printing costs that would be appreciated.
We realise that we will never get everyone to stop dropping litter but our hope is that we can encourage residents to take more responsibility for their own patch. Litter picking represents an enormous cost to councils, so if we can get residents litter pick or, preferably, not drop litter in the first place, then that represents a saving for our council to spend elsewhere.
KEET was started by Lerryn and her inspirational leadership, commitment and excellent project management will enable us all to make a difference to our Borough. Although we have no financial resources, the team has a variety of skills and more importantly the goodwill of many E&E residents who are prepared to give their time and make things happen. This in turn results in a tangible and clearly seen positive effect on our local environment.
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