All litter picks should be conducted in accordance with latest Scottish Government COVID-19 guidance regarding permitted numbers who can meet outdoors.

Photograph of two women litter picking

A fantastic way to start improving your neighbourhood is by doing a community clean up. We value the help and support of communities who take pride in their area and organise a clean up.

We can help by:

  • supplying litter picking equipment
  • offering advice for risk assessments
  • providing Public Liability Insurance cover
  • arranging for the waste to be uplifted

Where to carry out a clean up

We will only uplift litter that is collected from council owned public land.

If you are unsure what land is public or private, we will provide a map to assist you.

We advise groups not to pick litter from private land. If you want to litter pick on private land, get the landowners permission first as it's their responsibility to dispose of the litter. Under the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (CoPLAR) all duty bodies have a responsibility to maintain their land (for example; local authorities, educational institutions, Network Rail and Scottish Canals).


Equipment we can provide

  • Hi-visibility vests
  • Litter pickers (infant, children's and adult sizes)
  • Black bags (for non-recyclables)
  • Clear bags (for recyclable cans, tins and plastic bottles)
  • Hoops to hold your bags
  • Public Liability Insurance for the clean up event (we will cover groups with public liability insurance, however, our risk assessment control measure guidance must be applied and signed off in advance of a clean up event taking place)

How to book your clean-up

All you have to do is:

  1. choose an area in your neighbourhood that is in need of a clean up
  2. choose a suitable day and time to do the clean up
  3. register your clean up with us and we'll get in touch

We recommend you contact us at least 2 weeks prior to your event. This allows enough time to book and process your request, prepare equipment and organise the collection of your litter.

Prior to your litter picking event, we also recommend a risk assessment is carried out beforehand. We will supply you with a risk assessment guidance form; however, it's each volunteer's responsibility to ensure they work safely together.

To ensure your clean up is enjoyable and safe, we ask you follow our Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance.


We'll pick up the litter you collect

When we confirm your clean up, we will advise where we'll pick up the collected bags of litter.

Do not overfill the bags, bags should be a manageable weight for our collection crews.

We will collect the following after your litter pick:

  • black bags (general waste)
  • clear bags (recyclable cans and plastics)

We will not collect glass – please use local recycling points to dispose of this type of litter.


Where to pick up and return your litter pick equipment

Collecting equipment

  • Once you have booked your event, we will be in touch to confirm your booking.
  • We will then ask you to collect your equipment from our depot with an allocated day and time slot.
  • Our depot is located at Dalgrain Depot, McCafferty Way Industrial Estate, Grangemouth, FK3 8EB.
  • We will email a map and instructions advising where to collect your equipment once you arrive at the depot.

Return equipment

  • Once you are finished with your equipment, please return it to the dark grey returns container at our depot on the agreed return date and time. If you cannot return the items on the date and time given, please contact wasteservices@falkirk.gov.uk in advance.
  • Once returned, we will cleanse the equipment and make sure everything is there. If there are any issues with the equipment (eg missing items), we will be in touch.

Group guidance and health and safety

All current Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice from the Scottish Government must be adhered to. Litter picks that exceed approved numbers are not recommended by Falkirk Council.

We also recommend:

  • You have gloves and hand sanitiser to keep your hands clean (this is something we're unable to provide)
  • You wear suitable footwear and clothing

We are asking all groups to follow the latest advice from Public Health Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Litter picking should be done in line with current limits on group sizes meeting outdoors and with appropriate social distancing measures in place.

  • You should still stay at least 2 metres apart from people from other households at all times.
  • Avoid litter picking in crowded or busy areas.
  • Wear protective gloves at all times during your litter pick.
  • Sanitise your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after your litter pick.
  • Use a litter picker and the provided bags to collect the litter - do not use your hands, and avoid unnecessary bending.
  • Do not touch your face when litter picking.
  • Sanitise your equipment before and after use. Remember, bags and litter pickers (handle and grabber) all need to cleansed after use.
  • Please ensure your bags of litter are presented at the agreed collection point. Apply manual handling when lifting or moving the bags of litter (lift and move items using your legs to bend, not your back).
  • Ensure you pass on all this information and guidance to your group at ahead of the litter pick. Remind individuals that if they feel unwell they shouldn't participate.
  • To ensure social distancing measures are maintained within your group.
  • Please do not attempt to collect broken glass as this could tear the bags and injure volunteers and collection staff. If you encounter broken glass please report this by calling 01324 506070 or report it via the online flytipping form.
  • Do not attempt to lift any drug paraphernalia – including hypodermic needles. These have to be uplifted by trained Falkirk Council employees. If you encounter these items, please call 01324 506070.
  • Flytipping and bulky items - if you encounter larger items which cannot fit inside your bags (eg tyres, traffic cones, furniture or white goods), please do not attempt to move these. All flytipping should be reported via our online flytipping form.
  • Please use extreme caution when litter picking beside a road, due to the risk of being struck by vehicles. Volunteers should only pick where there are wide verges or pavements, suitable for pedestrians, and should be carried out facing oncoming traffic. It is essential that volunteers are visible to road users, for that reason, hi-visibility waistcoats must be worn and litter picks should only take place in clear daylight.
  • Try and avoid reaching into hedges as your face, eyes and skin could be scratched by thorns or branches. Also please be mindful of wildlife. In the spring time avoid disturbing animals and birds that may be nesting and in the summer time be wary of wasp and bee nests.
  • Do not attempt to enter burns, rivers or any steep slopes, as there is a risk of slips, falls and injuries.
  • When working close to ditches, avoid reaching into the ditch to remove litter, unless it can be safely reached with a litter picker.
  • Do not attempt to climb into or remove items from waste/recycling bins. This includes large communal bins, and glass recycling bins. If there is an issue with bin contamination, please email wasteservices@falkirk.gov.uk.
  • Have the contact details of the nearest hospital and walk-in centre in case an accident occurs. If possible carry a small first aid kit and cleansing gel or hand wipes.
Guidance for litter pick volunteers

Contact us

Waste Services
Dalgrain Depot
McCafferty Way
Grangemouth
FK3 8EB

Keep Scotland Beautiful

We are working closely with our litter clean-up partners Keep Scotland Beautiful. They have Clean Up guidance information and resources to help you promote litter picks in your local community.