The Wokingham Paper

Winnersh residents invited to join community litter picking group

Volunteers help keep their communities clean. Picture: Wokingham Borough Council

WINNERSH residents are encouraged to adopt a street and tackle littering.

There is currently a group in Winnersh helping clean the streets, led by co-ordinator David Baker.

Talking about the issue, he said: “We tend to get two types of littering. There’s takeaway food and drink, such as wrappers and cans. People just drop them when they’ve finished.

“Then there’s carrier bags full of rubbish thrown from car windows. It’s ironic really. People clean out their cars and shove it all in a bag, only to dump it onto paths and verges.”

The group has 11 members with ages ranging from 20s to 70s — but they’re looking for more local volunteers to better target certain hotspots.

Mr Baker first started picking up litter about six years ago, but then volunteered to co-ordinate the Winnersh group with the help of Wokingham Borough Council. 

“Your environment cannot be underestimated,” he said. “If your neighbourhood is clean and tidy, people take more pride in it even if they’re just passing through.

“I do it because I want to. It cheers people up. Most say thank you although you always get a few moaners, which is silly. If you want to change something in society, do something about it.”

Mr Baker often focuses on a litter hotspot near his home and goes out on Monday mornings for two hours. “That’s the beauty of this scheme,” he added. “You do as little or as much as you want, but even a little makes a difference. 

“There are residents not in our group who clean outside their homes. It’s all about community spirit.”

Those wanting to get involved should register their interest with the borough council. They will then provide a litter picker, high visibility vest and waste bags. 

Volunteers can put out the litter they have collected alongside their normal weekly household rubbish. 

Over the past year, there has been a 24% increase in families and children volunteering with litter picking. 

Register your interest by emailing community.engagement.localities@wokingham.gov.uk

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