The Great British Spring Clean, originally scheduled to run from 21st March to mid-April, has been postponed due to the situation around Covid-19. The national campaign will now run for a shorter period from 11th to 27th September.
The annual national litter pick run by Keep Britain Tidy usually sees thousands of volunteers involved in hundreds of events across the UK. With residents now told to stay at home and observe a policy of strict social distancing in response to the Covid-29 crisis, planned events cannot now take place. Advice from Great Britain Tidy says: “Please assume that any events that you have signed-up for as part of the campaign are now cancelled or postponed.”
Keep Britain Tidy is hoping that planned events will still go ahead in September and have requested that organisers consider rescheduling. To do so, organisers need to log onto their event dashboard to rearrange their event. Within the dashboard, enter the ‘Manage my clean-ups’ selecting ‘My cleans-ups’. Dates and details can be saved within this section. Keep Britain Tidy also advise contacting all registered volunteers to keep them informed of the updated details.
Keep Britain Tidy also offer additional advice around litter picking during the Covid-19 crisis. The organisation states that if they wish, individuals may still pick up litter while out on their permitted daily exercise period, but that they should exercise great care, wearing gloves and observing strict hygiene practices such as handwashing on returning home. They also stress that group litter picks are not allowed as they go against government regulations.
With social distancing in place and people only allowed out for essentials such as shopping for food and daily exercise, it will be interesting to see what impact the lockdown has on littering in public places. While there should be fewer people out and about to drop litter, across many regions, collections of litter bins in public places are being suspended or reduced. In Leeds for example, the council urged people not to use public litter bins and announced that they wouldn’t be emptied for the foreseeable future. Dorset council announced reduced collections of public bins and dog waste bins and outlined that communal bins are not to be used for household waste. In some regions, bins have been covered over to prevent use. The measures have been taken due to the need to protect staff as well as rising incidences of staff absence due to illness.
“We sincerely hope that the public listen to the advice from their local authority when it comes to using public litter bins,” comments Amberol’s MD Patience Atkinson-Gregory. “Uncollected litter in public spaces is a definite health hazard – which is the last thing anybody needs at the moment. For the time being, people need to ensure that they take their litter home with them when out on their permitted daily exercise.”
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