Tackling Litter

Helping to clean up our communities

Tackling the litter problem - photo by John Cameron on Unsplash
Tackling the litter problem - photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

Street/Park Litter Picks

The cost of cleaning up litter is in excess of £1 Billion per year in the U.K. and Ireland. We seem to have a culture of throwing away litter, drink cans, take-away packaging, sweet papers – you name it.

Did you know cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic that is very slow to degrade in the environment. A typical cigarette butt can take up to 10 years to decompose, depending on conditions.

Rotary Club of West Wickham's litter pick

Members of the Rotary Club of Maidstone Dawn Patrol took regular exercise whilst maintaining social distancing during the Covid-19 outbreak. On their walk they have also been litter picking and carrying on caring for the local environment.

Members of the Rotary Club of West Wickham had a successful litter pick on Easter Saturday (2021) at Blakes Park, and were joined by some of the  Friends of Blakes and volunteers. This was done in keeping with Covid regulations. All the bottles and cans collected were separated and recycled. This was the first Litter Pick of many the club intends to do this year helping to improve the local environment.

Rotary Spring Clean

Spring is a good time to clean up as the ground cover will be at a minimum, having died back and possibly flattened by snow. Consider doing a Rotary Litter Pick during keep Britian Tidy Week, which is in March each year, and then register the event with Climate Week.

Members of the Rotary Club of Kings Hill started a litter pick (May 2021) at Leybourne Church. It was a lovely morning, and the litter pickers were also very lucky that their route took them through woods with beautiful bluebells in flower.

The Kent & Canterbury Hospital contacted Canterbury Rotary Club, requesting help picking up litter in the grounds. So, armed with picking sticks, gloves, masks and black sacks from the Hospital, Canterbury Rotarians valiantly got to work and spent two hours on the task.

Beach Clean

Minster-on-Sea's Beach Clean

The Rotary Club of Minster On Sea undertook a beach clean on the International ECO day. 

The day which was also attended by the Rotary Club of Medway and Sittingbourne Invicta. The local Sea Cadets got in on the action as part of their “Ditch The Plastic Campaign.” 

Minster, Sheerness  & Queenborough seafront areas were targeted and a large green recreational area known as Barton’s Point.  A real team effort from all involved which was about 50 to 60 people in total. The picture illustrates Rotarians and Sea Cadets added to this was partners, children, grandchildren  dogs.

Members of Rotary Club of Isle of Thanet Sunrise carried out a beach clean (May 2021). Disintegrated plastic cups were the biggest culprits on their beach clean.


River Clean-up

Cleaning the River Ravensbourne

17 intrepid Ravensbourne Rotarians and friends undertook a clean of the River Ravensbourne in South East London facilitated by Natures Gym an initiative by Nature Conservation Officers from the London Borough of Lewisham and Glendale ( a local contractor).

It was a very worthwhile event the group collected 8 black sacks of rubbish including 1 x mobile phone, 8 golf balls, 2 footballs and a tennis racket and ball, various bicycle bits, a cycle helmet, a tea pot, a curtain,  various items of clothing, DVD’s, a hat, one walking stick a pair of crutches, an 8 foot scaffolding pole, two traffic cones, mountains of plastic, 20- 30 cans and bottles and two obligatory supermarket trolleys!

The Rotary Clubs of Maidstone Riverside and Maidstone Dawn Patrol undertook litter picks over four days along the tow path of the River Medway between Allington and Tovil as part of the Great British Spring Clean 2021. A total of 13 large bags of litter was collected on one of the days.


(Main photo by John Cameron on Unsplash)

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