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Guide to setting up a litter pick event


Cornwall’s face is its fortune; the cleanliness of the county is an important part of the quality of life of residents and in encouraging visitors.


Clean Cornwall is a partnership of local businesses, community groups and public sector organisations that, since 2005, has shared one common goal – to keep our county litter free and tidy.

You can help by organising a litter pick in your area…

We will help by providing you with equipment and advice and taking the rubbish away afterwards…

You can show others how easy it is to make your area a hot spot, not a grot spot by spreading the word and organise more litter picks or make it a regular group   Here’s what you need to know to get started on keeping Cornwall clean.


Plan ahead


1. Choose an area you want to clean up. If it is Cornwall Council land then Clean Cornwall grants you the permission to conduct the event. If it’s privately owned land, get permission from the landowner(s).


2. Decide when you want to do it


3. Tell your friends, family, and neighbours you need their help


4. Register your litter pick with us


5. Clean Cornwall will provide litter pick packs for your registered litter pick. These include:

• Litter pick grabbers

• Black bin bags

• Green Vests


6. When you registered your litter pick we will arrange to have the rubbish taken away by Cory Environmental, you just tell us where and when.


7. Publishing your event:  Use posters, word of mouth, social media, websites, and community notice boards to advertise your event locally. Hit the headlines – Your clean up event is an excellent opportunity for you, your group or organisation to get some publicity. Approach the local press, TV and radio. Alert them at least one week before the event. Invite them along and if they are unable to cover the event, why not send them a brief story and photograph afterwards. Remember, an unusual event, celebrity participation, a good photo opportunity or newsworthy story are more likely to attract media coverage.


8. Complete a risk assessment. This is a simple procedure which ensures you have considered any safety issues for the group and taken the necessary precautions to prevent them, as far as possible.


9. Prepare yourself and your helpers for the day:

• Decide where you will meet and at what time

• Think about how to split the group up to cover the area

• Decide how long you will litter pick, when you will take breaks

• Think about refreshments and what toilet facilities are available

• Think about first aid, safety and hygiene – is there a first aider in the group, do you have a supply of antibacterial wipes or hand gel, take some plasters and antiseptic for any cuts or grazes.

• Make available a copy of the litter pick safety checklist on the day

• Make available a copy of your completed risk assessment on the day


On the day


1. Brief the group on:

• Health and safety – check everyone has read the safety checklist and knows how to use the equipment and what to avoid

• Meeting points, break and finish times

• Where to place the collected rubbish – consider using a map if the area is large

• Who the first aider is and/or what to do if an injury occurs


2. Check everyone is wearing/has appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather and terrain


3. Ensure there is sufficient supervision for young/vulnerable volunteers


4. Ask the group to be considerate to wildlife and people using the area


5. Exchange mobile phone numbers to ensure good communication links between the group


After the event


Check that the rubbish has been collected. If it has not been picked up, please contact us.


Litter pick safety checklist


• Avoid direct contact with litter at all times

• Use a litter picking tool where possible for any glass and metal items

• Any needles or drug paraphernalia needs to be left alone and reported to Cornwall Council on 0300 1234 202

• Clean hands thoroughly before eating food or drinking

• Rubbish should not be compressed using hands or feet as this can accidently puncture the skin

• Avoid contact with the body when carrying plastic bin bags

• Ensure any cuts or abrasions are clean and covered with a waterproof plaster

• Wear stout shoes and waterproof clothing

• Stay at least 1.5 metres away from the edge of the highway

• Avoid lifting heavy objects or sacks alone – ask for assistance if required

• Be aware of your environment and do not put yourself at risk whilst picking litter




Litter picks can be carried out under Clean Cornwall’s insurance. To be covered under this insurance you must:

• Register your event

• Carry out a risk assessment

• Complete an event approval and consent form for anyone in the litter pick group under the age of 18


Risk assessment


The purpose of a risk assessment is to make sure the health, safety and welfare of the volunteers has been considered and that all reasonable precautions and controls are in place prior to any clean up activity taking place. Volunteers under 18 years of age will need a completed medical condition and consent form found on page 16. Any person with a known medical or other condition that may affect there own welfare or that of others should discuss with the organisers any special requirements they may have prior to the activity taking place.