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Guidance on litter picking activities from Tuesday 5 January 2021

Following the government announcement of a national lockdown, we are all being asked to stay at home. Stricter and legally enforceable rules on outdoor activity are now in place. There are prescribed reasons for being outdoors, which do include provision of voluntary and charitable services and for the purposes of exercise (but only once a day).

However, it’s not clear from the government’s guidance whether volunteer litter picking would be covered by either of these criteria. Therefore, taking a precautionary approach, we are asking all our volunteers to pause any organised litter picking events until further notice. Should you choose to pick up litter on your daily exercise, please ensure you do so safely and, in line with the latest government guidance, you should only undertake outdoor activity as an individual, with one other person or with members of your own household/support bubble, while maintaining social distancing at all times.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.

Loaning of equipment

Due to the current restrictions we will not be loaning out any litter picking equipment until the current restrictions have been lifted and we have been advised that it is safe to do so.

If you are concerned about litter in a particular area, then please report this concern to us via the Report page

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.