Dear Team Members
Please be reminded that nobody should be taking risks to remove litter.
We must insist you do not litter pick on grass verges to busy roads, central reservations and traffic islands etc. Please notify Cheshire East Council or a Clean Team committee member if you want to report a problem of litter on a busy road.
Here is a reminder of our safety guidelines – Thank You 😇
Middlewich Clean Team Guidelines for volunteer litter pickers
Thank you for volunteering to help make Middlewich a cleaner, more attractive place to live for everyone. Below are some points which you might not be aware of. This guide is for your safety, please read it carefully.
1. It is recommended that a picking stick be used to pick up litter and that strong thick gloves be worn to protect hands from cuts, infection and penetration by broken glass and discarded hypodermic needles. Litter carries potentially harmful bacteria; for example Toxocariasis from dog faeces which can cause blindness, and Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease) transmitted in river and canal water from rat urine; discarded needles can be a source of HIV and/or sexually transmitted diseases
2. If you take other people with you on litter picks you must make them aware of possible hazards. People under 18 must have the permission of their parent or guardian and be supervised at all times by an adult, and in some cases it may be wise to exclude them from the operation.
3. Under no circumstances touch or remove hypodermic needles. They should be covered up if possible, and the position marked. For safe removal call the Community Wardens on 0300 123 5021.
4. Footwear – strong footwear is recommended to protect feet from the hazards mentioned in point 1. Lightweight, canvas or open toed footwear is not recommended.
5. Please be aware of road safety and consider the location you plan to pick very carefully. Locations such as grass verges to busy roads, central reservations, traffic islands etc. should not be tackled by volunteers without consultation with the police and highways authority. For these areas traffic control and experienced personnel would be needed and suitable high visibility jackets worn.
6. Take great care near canals and rivers. Do not reach into water or down slippery banks. There should always be a minimum of two people working near water.
7. Do not overfill bags so that they become heavy. To prevent injury when lifting, keep the back straight, do not twist and use your leg muscles rather than your arms or back. Be aware that bags of litter may contain sharp hazardous items as highlighted above.
8. Volunteers should ideally pick in groups of two or more. Be sensible about such things as time of day; e.g. litter pick in daylight and leave plenty of time to dispose of rubbish before nightfall.
9. Volunteers should not spend more than one or two hours at each litter pick. With groups of six or eight people even very bad areas can be cleaned in about an hour.
10. Private land should not be picked without the permission of the owner of the land as you would be trespassing. On no account enter derelict or dangerous buildings to retrieve litter.
11. If you find large items such as household furniture on public land make note of where it is and ring Cheshire East Council on 0300 123 5021. You must not remove such items from private land.
12. Be pleasant at all times to passers-by who may make adverse comments about litter picking. Do not get into verbal arguments with them as you be putting yourself in danger and it could reflect poorly on the Clean Team.
13. After litter picking, wash hands thoroughly. Store litter picking equipment in a shed or garage if at all possible, rather than in your home, for health reasons.