Saturday, 16 April 2016

What's short, green and makes everyone in the community smile?

Flash Mob Litter Pick
Flash Mob Litter Pick, Orton Southgate 16 April 2016

A Flash Mob Litter Pick!

It's short, because it need only take an hour, not the whole day (perfect for a Saturday morning).

It's green, because while the City Council is very good at taking away the obvious rubbish, a gang of community litter pickers can focus on the rubbish that's really doing the damage - the stuff that's been lying in the undergrowth for years, suffocating the earth.

And it makes the community smile because doing something to make your neighbours feel better makes you feel happy. It's also a great opportunity to make new friends.

Alex Airey & Julie Howell, Orton Southgate Litter Pick
Alex Airey & Julie Howell, Orton Southgate Litter Pick

The Green Party does a Flash Mob Litter Pick somewhere in Peterborough every month. Today, however, I and my colleague Alex Airey (who is standing for the Green Party in Orton Longueville) joined in a 'Clean for the Queen' Litter Pick with 20 residents of Orton Southgate.

This brilliant event was organised by Orton Southgate resident Vanessa Barton - Alex commented that it was one of the most organised Litter Picks he'd ever attended (and he should know!). We helped Vanessa by providing litter pick sticks and rubbish bags, and Vanessa did everything else, including mapping out which areas we needed to cover, and providing hand wipes and cake and tea at the end.

Even though the City Council had cleared litter from the exact same areas the previous day, we collected 20 bags full of rubbish in just one hour.

The rubbish we picked was under hedges and in trees and had clearly been there for years, both as an eyesore and suffocating the ground beneath it.

Today, Orton Southgate can breathe again!

And it was so much fun. We got to know one another a little better and the sense of community was really fantastic.

Alex Airey & Julie Howell
Alex Airey (Green Party, Orton Longueville) & Julie Howell (Green Party, Orton Waterville)

We at the Green Party believe in Zero Litter. From fag butts and chewing gum, to dog and cat poo, to discarded cans, bottles and fast food containers to fly tipping, it's all TERRIBLE. It makes people miserable, it hurts where we live and we want rid of it. ALL of it, not just the stuff you can see from the road!

Three things we found in bushes in Orton Southgate today that shouldn't have been there:

1. A sock
2. A very rusty scooter minus a wheel
3. A car battery

Rubbish found in the bushes in Orton Southgate
All found in the bushes of Orton Southgate today

I can't think why anyone would think it's okay to throw these items into the bushes on our streets. Can you?

As for the bags of dog poo... please.. put it in a bin (any bin will do)!

If you'd like help organising a Litter Pick in Orton Northgate, Orton Wistow, Orton Brimbles or Orton Goldhay, let me know!


  1. Wow! So much only 24 hours after the council's team came along!

  2. That's the big lesson I learned from this litter pick. Sometimes what's on the surface is annoying to the eye, but it's what lies beneath that does the real harm. If the City Council is serious about tackling the real problem, it needs to undertake a 'deep clean' litter pick a couple of times a year in addition to the cosmetic clean ups.