What is the Walsall Community Litter Watch?
Walsall Community Litter Watch group is for everyone who notices litter around and wants to do something about it. They share ideas about the things that can be done locally to get it cleared up. The overall goal is to eventually stamp out litter by providing education and accessibility to disposal areas. Currently it involves volunteers going out with litter picking equipment as a team or individually to clear the local area. They took part in the ‘Great British Spring Clean’ where nationally people have helped make 1.15 million miles of British outdoor spaces cleaner and greener.
Intern Rosie Saul-Paterson interviewed Worksmith founders Beate and Sukanya about their motivations and experiences behind participating in the Walsall Community Litter Watch.
When did you join the group and what were your reasons for joining?
I used to commute great distances for work so made a conscious decision to have 3 out of 4 weekends as car free, and I noticed the litter in the best of areas. So I always picked my area – even today I try to walk to everyday activities – school run, small shops, visits etc. I used to buy my own equipment but my third picker broke at the start of lockdown and I had been following the litter group which just happens to loan out the pickers so then it was a no brainer. Before covid I used to do a large pick during school holidays with my daughter and a few like minded people and their children. Then during covid I reverted to just picking with my daughter and she even chose a family litter pick for her 10th birthday experience!
I have picked litter since I have a dog (2016) because it is so annoying to see it everywhere and occasionally I would take the litter picker with me. I’m part of a dog walking group and all of us pick up stuff occasionally for the same reason. The litter picking group gave all of this a more official frame and they gave out these great pickers and free bags so joining last autumn was a no brainer. It’s great to see such a movement developing, and the streets are definitely cleaner. Long-term I hope it will change attitudes to littering in the first place.
What do you usually do?
I pick on my own and with my daughter whenever and usually my local area but I have done 10s of picks whilst on holiday and around Walsall if the days have worked for me.
I have got the litter picker and bags in my car, whenever I take the dog on a walk with my car.
Why is it important to you?
Sustainable living is important to me. I prefer to tackle an issue than leave it to fester in my mind. Litter is annoying so if I leave it in situ – I would be getting annoyed every time I see it, so the solution is to pick it up!
Want to get involved?
If you live in and around Walsall you can join the Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WalsallCommunityLitterWatch
And if you are from elsewhere, try searching on your local council website for a group or check on Facebook. ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ is also a nationwide initiative, so check out their website as well for more information: https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/home