Litter picking groups join forces in bid to tackle increase in rubbish since lockdown

Members of litter picking groups in Sheffield say there has been a significant increase in rubbish as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Loxley and Wisewood litter-pickers group was originally formed during the pandemic as an activity to keep the community active and has seen an increase in volunteers.

They participate in both group and solo picks, clearing up an array of rubbish ranging from underwear to cannabis dumps.

One member, Ann Parkin, said she joined the group during the Covid-19 lockdown for something to do.

Mrs Parkin, 63, said: “I can’t bear to see green areas covered in rubbish, by picking up rubbish I feel like I’m creating a space that everyone can enjoy.”

The group mainly consists of older members who are partially or fully retired, as they have more time to participate in picks. 

However, they work with many different organisations, such as the Rivelin Rowing club and Wisewood school to help promote keeping where you live clean.

The group is not the only litter picking community; Sheffield has seen a number of groups created as a result of the pandemic, with more people beginning to take pride in their neighbourhood.

Mounds of rubbish collected by litter pickers in Studfield Hill and quarry

Eamonn Ward, from the Hillsborough Green Party, said: “Loxley & Wisewood Litter Pickers sprang out of nowhere during Covid lockdown, and suddenly they seemed to be everywhere. 

“They actively take on some of the worst grot spots across a wide area. It makes sense for S6 Community Litter Pick to join up with them once a month and it’s been working really well as a collaboration in the last year.”

Although these groups are helping to tackle the rubbish, they say there has been a considerable increase of litter in Sheffield since Covid-19.

Mrs Parkin added: “We are in a phase of being a disposable society, it’s not always the person’s fault if they have been raised without the morals to bin their rubbish.”

The next group meeting with Loxley & Wisewood Litter Pickers and S6 Community Litter Pick will take place on March 11 at Leppings Lane tram stop.

Everyone is welcome to go along and participate and equipment is provided by the City Council, who take away the bags of litter that are collected.

Written by Holly Robson

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