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A ton of reasons to keep the borough clean and tidy

PUBLISHED: 09:53 03 September 2015 | UPDATED: 09:53 03 September 2015

Bexley volunteer street cleaners Marcus Sorrenson and Gosia Siwek

Bexley volunteer street cleaners Marcus Sorrenson and Gosia Siwek

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The number of volunteer community litter pickers who regularly help clear keep their part of the borough hits 100

IT’S a ton up for Bexley – as the borough celebrates reaching three figures for the number of helpers it has to keep the area clean and tidy.

Bexley now has 100 volunteer community litter pickers who regularly help clear keep their part of the borough.

Among the volunteers are Marcus Sorensen and his partner Gosia Siwek who regularly litter pick the area between Slade Green station and their home. Their goal is to keep the route a pleasant one for friends and visitors to walk.

Mr Sorensen explained: “Since starting the litter picking we have enjoyed getting outside and seeing the very visible results of our work. It is very satisfying to pick litter along a road or path and then enjoy the cleanliness while strolling home again.”

Ms Siewk added: “The council is very efficient at collecting all the bags of litter we fill. We also hope that our efforts make a difference to other local residents. I think that when there is less litter on the street, people litter less. If there is already litter around it probably seems less of an issue to add a bit more to it.”

The voluntary litter picking has also brought amusing experiences with it – not least when Marcus overheard a group of boys passing by, mistaking him for someone doing community service!

Bemused, Marcus said: “They could not imagine why anyone would voluntarily put on a yellow high-vis vest and gloves and pick litter…If only they knew how satisfying it is!”

Cllr Peter Craske, Bexley’s cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure, said: “I must thank each and every one of our volunteer community litter pickers for the great work they do and for the important role they play in enhancing the service already provided by the council.

“This in turn strengthens community ties and builds up a sense of pride and belonging for residents.”

The council continues to look for more volunteers to join its team. They are provided with safety advice, a hi-vis vest, litter picker, gloves and bags. They litter pick in the area where they live, at times convenient for them - whenever they can spare the time.

The scheme has been running since July, 2014. There is no age limit, although young people under the age of 18 would need to be supervised by a parent/guardian.

Anyone wanting to find out more about becoming a voluntary community litter picker, should call Jennie Beckett on 020 8303 7777.

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