What If..


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Some updates based on what we're doing and hope to do with the garden site, and in our wider community

By Erskine Community Garden, Oct 17 2017 07:42PM

We get asked occasionally, how we organise our litter picks.

Over the years, we’ve got ourselves into a routine. We have a core group of people who will turn out to most if not all, litter picks, and we all know what we’re doing.

Before we even start the litter pick, you need to pick your area. Don’t try to do a whole village and town in one go. Have a wander around your town. Look at where the main litter areas are.

We always target the main walking routes around the town.

Split your town into zones and decide which one will have the most impact to kick off your litter pick.

The other areas you can schedule in, at other dates if you decide to carry on after your first litter pick.

A day or so before the litter pick, We will have visited the area and taken a walk around to check there aren’t major issues with any of the ground.

We also make sure our insurances are up to date. When conducting a litter pick, a group really should have Public Liability Insurance and perhaps even Employers Liability insurance.

We record our litter pick with Keep Scotland Beautiful, as much in advance as we can – our dates for the first half of 2018 are already on their website.

We contact our local council to make them aware, and we also email them at litterpicks@renfrewshire.gov.uk to order litter picking equipment. The council wardens will then arrange a time, date and place to drop off and pick up equipment.

When we finish our litter pick we call the wardens who arrange with Streetscene, the pick up of our bags and items we’ve discovered.

Advertise your litter pick. If you’ve contacted Keep Scotland Beautiful, they will send you posters you just need to put your litter pick details on and ask shops, community centres, etc to display the posters.

If you’re on social media, create an event for your litter pick, and share it on all local pages on Facebook.

On the day of the litter pick, we gather together the volunteers who have turned out, regulars and newcomers.

The regulars want to check in and find out which direction they should go in.

While they’re doing that one or two of us will give a safety talk to the new volunteers.

This consists of what can’t be put into the bin bags; what to do if they find drugs paraphernalia, first aid issues, and if there is any area not to venture into if anything was spotted on the earlier walk round.

We ensure there is a designated first aider with us every time.

We work for 1.5 hours. We find that is a good time to work on an area, without getting to the point of feeling overworked.

Communication is one of your best tools.

Talk to Keep Scotland Beautiful. Use their resources on their website.

Keep your council up to date with what you’re doing. They’ll appreciate your work and will provide you with the essentials to do the litterpick.

Let your community know the what’s when’s where’s and why’s, before, during and after the litter pick. Sometimes the biggest deterrent to littering is a town seeing its own people working hard to keep it clean.

It might take time for the message to get through, but it does make a difference.



By Erskine Community Garden, Oct 15 2017 09:41AM

Our most recent litter pick was on 14th October.

We covered the area from Park Mains High School following the pathways to Erskine Baptist Church; path running parallel to the school towards Lamont Farm; Path running past the sorting office, police station and church of the Nazarene to Bridgewater and around the Erskine Parish Church.

In 2 hours 9 volunteers filled 16 bin bags. We also found half a bicycle, a shopping trolley, wooden post and light fitting.

We are noticing the number of bags we are filling, is decreasing


This may be due to us twice a year returning to these areas. Our reason for doing so is, we target the most commonly used walking routes for those going to and from schools and shops.

We feel however that because we have been working and making the effort, many people are thinking twice about dropping litter:

if you see a place is being cared for, you’re more inclined to think twice about dropping litter.

Sometimes an apathy can take hold and a thought of, ‘’…f nobody else cares why should I? That’s SomeOne Else’s job…’’

We do care.

We do genuinely care about our town and the people in it.

We want to make this a nice place for all and we’re in it for the long haul – 8 years and counting, I don’t think our dedication can be doubted!

We don’t believe in the SomeOneElse factor.

We are the SomeOneElse and will continue to work for and in our town.

To tackle litter, dumping and to bring the community garden to reality.

There are still issues. Broken glass is still a main one. We’re thinking of ways to deal with that, as we believe in being pro-active, not just highlighting an issue.

We believe in taking ownership of the issues and finding a solution.

That has always been our way of doing things, and we will continue with this.

If you want to be the SomeOneElse, get involved.

Come to a litter pick. Attend our meetings. Visit our special events – One Planet Picnic is coming up.

You are always welcome at anything we are doing.

By Erskine Community Garden, Oct 1 2017 07:18PM

We had another litter pick on 30th September, in and around Barsail Primary School.

We had 14 volunteers and in 1.5 hours, we filled 20-odd bin bags.

The work we have undertaken over the last few years, since around 2010, has slowly but surely started to make a difference in some areas.

It's been great to have two of our local councillors - Michelle Campbell and Iain Nicolson, with us on the litter picks, as they get to see some of the issues first hand, as we believe once a person has taken part in a litter pick, they see litter where they perhaps didn't notice it before.

We also had MSP Derek Mackay with us who again saw the work taking place, took part and gave support to the #TeamUpToCleanUp initiative Renfrewshire Council is running.

A workshop took place regarding TeamUpToCleanUp, on Wednesday evening at Park Mains High School.

It was affirming to see the objectives TeamUpToCleanUp is rolling out, are already in place with the Community Garden litter picks, and have been so for several years.

If you live in Erskine, or maybe from the wider local area and want to see what's involved in a litter pick, why not join us at our next one - 14th October at Park Mains High School, 10.30am.

We believe in sharing our experiences to help others get involved to #TeamUpToCleanUp.

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