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Pledge to pick for the Great British September Clean

Earlier this year we were blown away by the support from everyone – volunteers, charities and businesses – for the Great British Spring Clean, which was due to take place from 20 March – 13 April 2020.

However, with our first priority to make sure everyone was safe and well, we postponed this year’s campaign due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Now it is back and here's how you can get involved and show support for our Great British September Clean:

  1. Organise a private clean-up with up to five other family and friends.
  2. Pledge to do your own individual clean-up, you can give as little as 15 minutes to the campaign.

We would like to support this event as much as we can in this uncertain time but we have had to take into account new guidance on the cleaning of the equipment.

Due to this, we have taken the decision to only hire out equipment to pre-existing litter picking groups and parish councils. We are asking for the groups to keep hold of the equipment for three weeks during this event and have an adequate place to store the equipment when not in use. We would ask that these guidelines are passed to all your volunteer litter picking groups so they are aware of the current procedures.

Loaning of equipment

We will only be hiring out six litter pickers at a time to each group to ensure that the government guidelines are maintained. We will not be able to hire out gloves to any groups at the moment and ask that you provide your own. 

To loan the equipment you must complete the community litter pick form where you will be notified if your request has been successful. Due to the enhanced health and safety precautions we are taking, it is a first come first served system.

All group leaders will need to:

  • Conduct a risk assessment;
  • Map the areas to be cleared and notify us of where you wish your bags to be collected from using the community litter pick form at least five working days before your pick as our resources are stretched and we need adequate time to plan this into our schedule;
  • You must conduct a safety briefing with all volunteers prior to the litter pick starting;
  • Take contact details of all the volunteers at the litter pick in case they need to be contacted for the test and trace service;
  • Have adequate PPE equipment and hand sanitiser available.

We support local communities and volunteers who wish to organise community litter picks. We'd like to know about your event and offer equipment for loan subject to availability. We can also assist you to dispose of the collected litter. Please read our Frequently Asked Questions below and then complete our online community litter pick form.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ Who does Ashford Borough Council loan equipment to?

Ashford Borough Council will loan equipment and provide refuse and recycling bags free of charge, to borough residents who are organising community litter picks.

+ What equipment can I borrow?

Litter pickers (long-handle grabbers), high visibility vests in adult and child sizes, pairs of protective gloves in adult and child sizes, and bag hoops are available.  Stocks are limited and equipment is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so please submit your request at least ten working days before your event.

+ How do I dispose of the collected litter?

We offer a free pick-up and disposal of collected litter from an agreed location; you can choose this when you complete the application form. If you wish to dispose of the litter yourself, we ask that you do so responsibly at a local tip and recycle as much as possible.

+ What precautions should I take to keep people safe?

Litter picking can be hazardous. We advise you to undertake a full risk assessment before the event, which includes both the area to be cleaned and any limitations of those taking part; you can then put measures in place to reduce or remove any risk.

Protective clothing should be worn. We recommend that you arrange public liability insurance too. We do not support any event that involves litter picking on public roads where the speed limit is greater than 30 miles per hour. All our equipment is checked before being loaned but it would be sensible for you to check again as you hand it out.

+ If I don't need equipment or waste collection, should I still tell you about my event?

We would like to know about any litter picking event in the borough, even if you do not need any help from the council; we keep a count of the number of events held to demonstrate your pride in the borough.  Litter picks are entered on our internal diary. We can inform you if anyone else is arranging an event in your area around the same date and so you may choose to re-book your event or choose a different area.