Boston’s litter-picking volunteers return

Boston Borough Council held its twelfth annual Big Boston Clean Up event this week after last year’s campaign saw a record low in the amount of litter collected by volunteers.

The event began in 2008, and invites members of the public to volunteer their time to pick up litter around the town. Food and equipment are provided for free by local supermarkets and vendors.

A volunteer at the Big Boston Clean Up. Photo: Alexandra Keene

Organisers say there has been a decrease in the amount of litter collected each year. In its first year of running, approximately 300 people signed up to help the campaign and over 10 tonnes of rubbish was collected during its four-day run. In 2018, under four tonnes was collected in the same time period.

Jen Moore, the environment supervisor at Boston Borough Council, said: “We see it as a really strong indication that our town is getting cleaner. Apart from one year, every year we have held this event we have seen a decrease in the amount of rubbish that has been on the streets. That’s why there is less being collected.”

Ms Moore added: “Sometimes we are criticised for holding this event. But the truth is, while the cleaners we have do an amazing job, they can’t follow everybody around picking up after them. It’s just not possible.”

Rosalie Barker, 3, the youngest volunteer at this year’s event. Photo: Communications office at Boston Borough Council

The Council’s environment and sustainability team say the event costs the taxpayer nothing in council tax.

Across the country, litter-picking campaigns have become more popular as schemes such as Keep Britain Tidy have seen approximately 40,000 volunteers sign up to help.