Clean up advice for volunteers


  • Wear the high-visibility garment and gloves provided for your own protection.
  • Be aware of traffic and any potential dangers on the roads. If working on the highway, always walk in the opposite direction on oncoming vehicles.
  • Use a litter-picker to remove any litter.
  • Take care when bending down or picking up heavy bags.
  • Report it to the Council if you come across anything hazardous.
  • Flytips, broken glass, dead animals and syringes or drug-related litter must only be removed by trained Council employees – do not attempt it yourself.
  • Be vigilant when removing bags of rubbish. Check for any sharp materials or tears in the bag.
  • Always sanitise your hands after the clean-up is over.
  • Follow any government restrictions and guidance in place relating to COVID-19.
  • Speak to us beforehand if you need advice on disposing of the litter you gather.


  • Go on private land unless you have permission to do so.
  • Open and look through any bags of dumped rubbish.
  • Approach anyone you see one throwing litter etc. Only warranted local authority officers can enforce against litter.

Dangerous or illegal items
When participating in clean-up events you may find some dangerous and / or illegal items such as weapon and drugs, if any of these items are found please follow the advice given below.

If drugs are found then the Police should be called, normally using the nonemergency number 101 unless the person finding them feels that they are in imminent danger.

Drug Paraphernalia
If you find needles you can call our contact centre on 020 8921 4661 who will be able to arrange for the items to be collected and disposed of safely. Never pick up needles, even with gloves on.

If you find a gun or other weapon, you must report it to the police. Do not touch it under any circumstances. Call 999 if you find a firearm or weapon that appears to be concealed, recently disposed of or has blood on it.
Call 101if the weapon appears old and rusty and has clearly have been there for some time.