Rubbish Walks Rides Again

After a few weeks on holiday, we returned to picking up litter in Chippenham in very un-Florida like conditions: rainy and cold.  Why today in this weather?  We have tried to get into the habit of going on a rubbish walk on Sundays in order to capture litter from Friday and Saturday nights, and with students starting back at school after halfterm tomorrow, we wanted to provide a blank slate.  Studies have shown that areas with no litter are less likely to be littered than those that already have litter (i.e. litter attracts litter), so – fingers crossed – hopefully this will make students think twice.

Today’s haul was very similar to the last time we did this area (11 January 2015), but today we cast a much wider net, including the path along John Coles Park, which we consider a litter hotspot. This gives us hope that the total amount of litter may be going down slightly.  The general tally was 2 bags of rubbish, 8 glass bottles, 24 plastic bottles, and 39 cans.  We have also started keeping a tally for Clean Up Britain of certain items and brands:

McDonald’s: 5
Walker’s Crisps: 7
Chocolate wrappers: 35
Costa: 3
Burger King: 1
KFC: 2
Smoking paraphernalia*: 20
* This includes cartons, roll up pouches, and Rizla wrappers but not cigarette butts.

And we are still doing our normal brand count of recyclables, which we will publish at the end of the month.  Regarding brands/item recording and visualisation, we have a secret project in the works that we will discuss more in the future.

In the meantime, if you live in Chippenham, please consider going on your own rubbish walk – maybe just to the end of your street, or a favourite path, or just pick up a piece of litter when you’re out and about.  Every little bit can help keep Chippenham a bit cleaner.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to get more involved:


Mountain Dew bottle shoved in a hedge; just because the bottle is green, it doesn’t mean it’s camouflaged!


Today’s finds.  That’s not a snake on the door, but what appears to be a brand new belt that says it’s 100% leather.  It won’t fit us, but I’m sure a local charity shop will be happy to have it.  We have also started a new bagging system: recycling bag goes into the main bag, which makes it much easier to carry and less likely to fall out of the hoop.  Does anyone else have any tips for making rubbish walking a bit easier?


This photograph was snapped at the Chippenham Sports Centre/Football Club car park.  This is an area we have spent considerable time cleaning up, and it is very sad to see it get back to such a state during the time we were away.  Our plan is to put in a concerted effort in March to clean up around this area, so please keep an eye out for us.


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