Picking up litter – A great pandemic activity when done safely

Published 9:29 am Friday, February 26, 2021

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We get it, you are sick of being at home and want to figure out ways to get out and about safely. Well one outdoor activity you can do while following social distancing is picking up litter, and helping to clean up our community just feels good! So, what are some do’s and don’ts for a litter cleanup?

Be prepared

•Scout out potential areas you’d like to clean up, note potential hazards (traffic, water, uneven terrain, etc.), and have a plan for where the trash will go (your trash bin at home? or maybe a nearby business will let you use their dumpster. You will need to get permission to use someone else’s dumpster. Note: Dumpsters will be available FREE OF CHARGE at Williams Field the SECOND week of every month courtesy of Waste Management.). Wooded areas within the city and areas between neighborhoods are two common places to find litter.

•Avoid trespassing.

•Dress appropriately for the weather.

•Wear long pants, work gloves, and boots or closed-toe shoes.

•Bring a long-pointed stick or a litter picker/grabber arm (these can be loaned out at no cost to you through Keep Crisp Beautiful or are available for purchase at local retailers) to:

•help you identify items before picking them up (something that looks like a straw or a pen could actually be a syringe!)

•help you determine whether something dangerous is lurking under the visible item

•save your back (reduces the amount of bending)

•Bring heavy-duty trash bags (regular bags tear easily).

•If you expect to be out for more than an hour or two, bring water and snacks.

Work safe

•Do not wear headphones (stay alert!), and keep a cell phone handy.

•Work in pairs. Supervise youth closely. You never know what you will come across when picking up litter!

•Take special care if you decide to pick up litter along a roadway: Clean up one side of the road or street at a time; face traffic (is safer than having traffic coming towards your back), and wear a high-visibility safety vest arm (these can be loaned out at no cost to you through Keep Crisp Beautiful).

•Remember that drivers of passing vehicles may not be expecting to see people on the roadside.

Hazardous material

•Take special care with sharps. Pieces of broken glass can go in an empty plastic bottle (seal it well).

•Be extra-cautious with anything that might contain hazardous chemicals, such as an empty pesticide jug or a car battery (you can always alert Public Works to the item’s location by calling  (229) 273-6136 for items in the City or (229) 276-2650 for County items).

•And remember social distancing!

•If you organize a group cleanup, please make sure you follow social distancing rules:

•Avoid traveling in the same vehicle with people who do not live with you.

•People not in the same household should stay at least 6 feet apart at all times.

•Cloth face masks are recommended.

Have fun, and if you do get out and clean up some litter, post a photo and tag us on social media!




For additional information contact: Catherine Harrell at (229) 273-1669 or catherine@visitcordele.com