Litter-picking campaign is 'making a real difference' in Mansfield

Organisers of a new litter-picking campaign in Mansfield believe it is ‘making a real difference’ to the appearance of the town.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 4:24 pm

Since the Just Bin It initiative was launched by Mansfield Rotary Club last October, a total of 113 volunteer litter-pickers have been recruited across the area.

And the mass clean-up over the winter and during the latest Covid-19 lockdown has left Stewart Rickersey, of the club, beaming with pride.

“It is going incredibly well,” said community volunteer Stewart, a well-known former businessman and councillor.

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Volunteer litter-pickers, 10-year-old Olly Whitsed and his five-year-old brother Joey, with the rubbish they collected as part of the Just Bin It campaign.
Volunteer litter-pickers, 10-year-old Olly Whitsed and his five-year-old brother Joey, with the rubbish they collected as part of the Just Bin It campaign.

"Lots of people are involved, and it is really catching on. This campaign is one of the best things the club has done.

"It is reaching out across the area, involving people across all demographics and clearly meeting a local demand.”

The idea for Just Bin It – which is being backed by Chad – came from Stewart’s wife, Sharon, when they were out on one of their regular walks during the Covid restrictions.

The Rotary Club spent £300 on buying litter-picking tools and invited volunteers to register for free.

Two young litter-pickers show what they have collected after taking part in the Just Bin It campaign.

The volunteers were duly provided with a tool and encouraged to go out and help clean up their neighbourhood on their lockdown walks or whenever they could.

Stewart said: “Anecdotally, over the last few weeks, I absolutely believe we have made a difference.

"The neighbourhood where we live is now spotless. Other people say it has become addictive. They can’t leave the house without feeling the need to pick up litter.

"The psychology behind it is that if an area is clean and tidy, with no rubbish, it is much harder for anyone to chuck stuff down.

"If we keep picking it up then, over time, the less will get put down.”

Stewart says the Rotary Club is now hoping Just Bin It will continue to grow, and even take hold in other areas.

"We need to keep it in the public eye, so we are encouraging people to send in photos of their litter-picking,” he added.

"We are uniting people and creating a little community. Our theme is ‘walking with purpose’ and we might set up a Facebook or WhatsApp group soon.”

If you would like to register as a litter-picker, simply go to Mansfield Rotary Club’s website.