LITTER PICKING HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES

Before you start your clean up, there are a few things you should consider. We’ve put together this advice for those attending an organised clean-up, or anyone who is doing their own thing, but please note that Green Beings is not responsible for (and will accept no liability to you for) any losses or damages you incur or suffer in connection with your participation in any litter picks. 

 

Please also ensure you are following the National / Regional Covid rules at all times.

Please, attempt only what is within your personal capabilities and be sure to take regular rest breaks. Two to three hours of litter-picking is usually enough.

EQUIPMENT

You’ll need the right equipment to help you successfully and safely complete a clean-up.

If you’re attending an organised clean-up, we may have arranged an equipment loan in advance of the clean-up. Alternatively, you can also find affordable litter-pickers from various online retailers. 

Please ensure you have considered the weather and are wearing suitable clothing/ shoes, and have enough to drink. If it is warm, consider sun-cream / hats. 

 

RECYCLING

If possible, please separate the litter you find into recycling and general waste.

COLLECTION

For co-ordinated group litter picks, there may be specified collection point where bags can be left. For smaller / individual litter picks, please take any bags home with you. If they don't fit in your bin for collection, please tie the bag up and place it next to the bin.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

For official  group-litter pick, a risk-assessment will have been carried out and shared. Please do familiarise yourself with this. 

For individual / informal litter picks, please take responsibility for your own health and safety, and that of others. Carry out risk-assessments before and during the litter pick to ensure you and those around you are safe.

We recommend that you avoid:

  • Potentially hazardous objects such as unidentified cans or canisters, oil drums and chemical containers.

  • Sharp objects such as broken glass and disposable BBQs – these should be collected in separate containers not litter bags.

  • Clinical waste such as needles/syringes – inform the organiser and arrange for safe disposal.

  • Hazardous areas such as deep or fast-flowing water, steep, slippery or unstable banks, sharp rocks, derelict buildings, busy roads and electric fences (which are identified by yellow warning signs).

  • Working alone – try to stay in sight and earshot of others but if not possible then let someone know where you’ve gone and when to expect you back.

  • Near busy roads with narrow or no pedestrian access. 

 

To avoid illness from poor hygiene, all those taking part in the clean-up must:

  • Wear heavy-duty, protective gloves at all times

  • Cover any cuts (however minor) with surgical tape or a waterproof plaster

  • Keep hands away from mouth and eyes while litter-picking

  • Wash hands and forearms before eating, drinking, smoking or going to the toilet.

 

HEAVY LIFTING

Lifting heavy items could be hazardous. If considered impractical to remove, please contact Green Beings or Barnet Council.

 

DANGEROUS ITEMS

If dangerous, poisonous or hazardous items are present, contact the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.

If syringes are spotted at any stage during your clean-up, do not attempt to move them yourself. Make a note of their location and inform Barnet Council.
If you see someone fly tipping or come across hazardous waste, report it to the Environment Agency on its 24-hour hotline or, alternatively, contact the police.

 

USE OF LAND

Before going onto any land, make sure that you have permission from the land-owner. If you are attending an organised clean-up, this will have been done in advance.

 

WORKING WITH CHILDREN

Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult when taking part in a clean-up.

Before your clean-up, make sure children understand which items are potentially dangerous and should not be picked up. Teach children that if they are in any doubt they should ask a grown up before picking the litter up.

It’s important that children are provided with gloves and wear suitable clothing and footwear. Don’t let children pick for more than one hour at a time.

Thank you! Enjoy and stay safe!