This was our first opportunity to volunteer with Sustainable Merton and we joined an enthusiastic group of people at the Haydons Road Rec to collect our litter picks, high viz jackets and rubbish bags. We had come prepared with gardening gloves, which proved to be a useful addition to our equipment. After a photo opportunity, we all set off in different directions to pick up the debris, mainly cans, which adorned or rather disfigured the sides of the pavements.
As we set off along North Road, we immediately found a huge dump – the only way to describe it – lurking behind a wall. Clearing this filled a whole bag, so it was back to base straight away to offload the contents. As there were plenty of people collecting rubbish in the local streets, we moved further along North Road into the edge of the Wandle area and spent a happy hour or so filling two more bags to bursting point. We were astonished at some of the things we found, some of which are better not detailed here. We did not pick up the abandoned toilet, but we did pick up a lot of empty nitrous oxide cylinders.
Seeing the bags piled up at the collection point at the Haydons Road Rec at the end of the morning demonstrated what a worthwhile activity it had been and how powerful a group of people undertaking a task is. We shall certainly hope to be involved again.
We hope it will be possible to encourage individual streets to have a regular clear-up day every so often. In the end, making our environment more attractive must be about educating people to take responsibility for their immediate neighbourhood.”
Cathie & Alan