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Army gives litter its marching orders

Army gives litter its marching orders
Published on 15 March 2021 Print

Our Volunteer Coordinators Richard Upton and Beth Deeley upped the ante in the war on litter when they brought in support from the Army during a recent litter pick.  Soldiers from the Army Recruiting Group recently took part in a cleanup operation in Pleck and Caldmore.  Ten soldiers pledged their time as volunteers to learn more about working within the community and to raise awareness of problems with littering and fly-tipping.

CSgt Thomas Miller from the regiment contacted Walsall Community Litter Watch via local litter hero Mike Hawes, who is praised within the borough for his own prolific litter picking.  Primley Avenue Park in Pleck and streets around Caldmore were chosen for the collaborative clear up and, working in COVID-19 safe bubbles, the teams set to work with their litter pickers, hi-vis, gloves and bags, tackling the job with enthusiasm, in spite of the very blustery weather.

The soldiers bagged a haul of 127 bags of litter between them; 75 bags from Primley Avenue Park and 52 bags from around the Caldmore area.  Residents in the areas who saw the soldiers at work were keen to show their appreciation as some came over to say thank you for the hard work and one person even whistled from a window to express their thanks.

CSgt Tam Miller said:

“We are happy to support this great initiative, it is always good to see the Army helping in the community and making a difference. It also opens the younger soldiers' eyes to the scale of litter and fly-tipping within their local areas.”

The soldiers made a huge difference to the two locations they worked on and were pleased they had been able to help raise awareness of local initiatives aimed at tackling the national problem of littering.

Volunteer Coordinator Beth Deeley said:

“It was great to see the Army volunteers really embrace the community spirit. CSgt Miller had mentioned that they were inspired by local volunteers to get involved. They tackled some heavily littered areas and did an amazing, job collecting 127 bags throughout the day, 75 from Primley Avenue. Thank you to CSgt Miller and the army volunteers for helping us to build a cleaner, greener Walsall.”

Walsall Community Litter Watch, winners of this year’s coveted Keep Britain Tidy network award for Community Engagement, will soon be busy planning for the annual Keep Britain Tidy Great British Spring Clean which takes place 28 May – 13 June.  Current COVID-19 guidance means that WCLW can support residents with solo or’ household bubble’ litter picks, but it’s hoped that as lockdown measures ease larger group picks will be approved to go ahead soon, in time for the Great British Spring Clean.  To find out more about Walsall Community Litter Watch visit Facebook/WalsallCommunityLitterWatch or email cleanandgreen@walsall.gov.uk

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Notes to Editors:

  • Walsall Community Litter Watch was established 18 months ago. 
  • It is a group that brings together and supports volunteer litter pickers from all across Walsall.  It is facilitated by Walsall Council Clean and Green employees Richard Upton and Beth Deeley, who are Volunteer Coordinators.
  • They support residents and local people who want to tackle littering issues in their neighbourhoods, schools and local businesses and have a range of initiatives to help.  They can also supply litter picking equipment (litter picker, hi-vis vest, gloves, bags etc) for one-off litter picks or on longer-term loans to help volunteers get started.
  • The Facebook group ‘Walsall Community Litter Watch’ brings together the work from all of the volunteers across the borough and is a place where they can share pictures of their litter picking clean ups and share thoughts and ideas and gain community support from each other.
  • The soldiers involved in the litter picks in Pleck and Caldmore had pledged their time as volunteers for the day.
  • To find out more about Walsall Community Litter Watch visit Facebook/WalsallCommunityLitterWatch or email cleanandgreen@walsall.gov.uk

Enquiries:  communications@walsall.gov.uk