Community litter picks

We can help volunteers by providing equipment, including litter pickers, sacks and high-visibility vests. We will pick up and dispose of the collected waste at a pre-arranged location.

You are responsible for your health and safety if carrying out a litter pick.


Dangerous or hazardous items

If you come across any dangerous, poisonous, or hazardous items please do not attempt to remove them and ensure that a clear location and description of the items are reported to us or the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.

Never touch or pick up asbestos or material that may contain asbestos. This could be corrugated sheeting, tiles, guttering or downpipes. Any material that has a fibrous-looking broken edge may contain asbestos.

Safety is your responsibility and priority during litter picks. Whether an organised group clean-up, community group, family walk or someone going alone, litter picks are a voluntary activity and done so at your own risk.

We accept no liability to you including damages you may incur or suffer from your participation.

Before you start your cleanup, consider the guidelines below. This is not an exhaustive list.


Ensure you have the correct equipment to help you safely complete a successful litter pick. We recommend:

  • litter pickers, hoops, high visibility jackets and sacks. These are available to pre-book in advance for community and volunteer groups
  • PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and high visibility vests are worn to ensure you are seen by any vehicles nearby. This includes wearing suitable footwear
  • wearing heavy-duty, protective gloves for your own safety

Health and safety

Everyone involved must be reminded that their safety is most important and they understand how to keep themselves safe. Please:

  • do not touch clinical waste such as syringes or needles. Contact us for removal. You must seek immediate medical treatment in the event of a needle stick injury
  • if you come across any dangerous, poisonous, or hazardous items please do not attempt to remove them and ensure that a clear location and description of the items are reported to us or the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60
  • be aware of the waste you are collecting as this could have sharp edges including broken glass and split tins or cans
  • do not compress the waste into bags
  • report unidentified cans, chemical containers, and oil drums as flytipping (using what3words as the exact location) so we can collect them
  • avoid lifting heavy objects - consider if this is practical for volunteers to remove 
  • use litter picking sticks to minimise bending and handling of waste
  • walk toward the oncoming traffic. Never litter pick with your back turned as you are unable to see approaching traffic
  • avoid over-reaching 
  • avoid hazardous areas such as steep, slippery banks and busy roads
  • always use pathways where possible. If there is no pathway, then be aware of the ground conditions such as rabbit holes, banks and ditches
  • avoid litter picking in ditches or near running water 
  • let people know where you will be and what time you will return if you are working alone. Make regular contact with the person who knows you are out
  • ensure you are a safe distance from the highway and do not litter pick on roads with a speed limit above 30mph
  • beware of hedges and brambles, these can sometimes have sharp thorns and could cause injury to eyes and arms  
  • only litter pick where and when it is safe to do so and do not walk in the road
  • do not litter pick on private land
  • make a risk assessment of the area where possible. Visit the location and observe any areas that need to be avoided or road works that may affect the event
  • do not wear earphones or headphones as you won’t be able to hear traffic noise
  • remain highly vigilant of vehicle movement and their surroundings
  • avoid peak times of traffic flow


Please ensure:

  • children are always accompanied by a responsible adult
  • children are supplied with gloves and are wearing suitable footwear
  • they are clear about what they can and cannot pick up, avoiding any dangerous objects. Advise them to speak to an adult if they are unsure of anything
  • avoid clearing highways when you have children with you.


To book equipment and let us know about a litter pick, please contact us.

Last updated 27 July 2023