High Peak council launches new scheme offering leisure centre vouchers in exchange for litter picking
High Peak Borough Council has launched a new scheme encouraging residents to get active outdoors while helping to clean up their neighbourhood.
Pick-Fit aims to combine physical and mental wellbeing with environmental improvements, with residents who take part in litter picking being able to earn free sessions at council leisure centres.
Deputy council leader Damien Greenhalgh said: “Sadly across the High Peak we’re seeing an increase in the volume of litter being left for someone else to deal with. On the plus side we also have lots of public-spirited residents and community groups who do have pride in their neighbourhoods and want to keep them clean and tidy.
“We’ve all come to realise the very real benefits to our health and wellbeing of being more active and being outdoors. Our new Pick-Fit initiative offers the best of both worlds combining physical activity with the sense of achievement that comes from looking after your local environment.”
Anyone signing up for Pick-Fit will receive a litter picker, bin bags, hi-vis vest, gloves and a guidebook. The council is suggesting that pickers focus on four walking loops around Fairfield and Gamesley.
Once complete, pickers can send a photo to the council detailing the location of the collected waste, and will receive a leisure centre voucher in return.
Councils across England spend £700million every year on street cleaning services – money which could be invested in other services if people disposed of their waste responsibly.
While teams from High Peak’s street cleaning contractor Alliance Environmental Services work to keep on top of it, staff say problems with rubbish and litter are on the rise.
Councillor Jean Todd, who is responsible for the authority’s environmental services, said: “Litter causes damage to the environment and wildlife and can make areas appear neglected and uncared for.
“It’s something that is easily avoided and I urge people to consider the impact and to dispose of their waste in public litter bins or take it home with them.”
She added: “Where it continues to be a problem we hope our Pick-Fit scheme will be a fitting thank you to those people that do have pride in where they live and take positive action to help keep the High Peak clean.”
To find out more about the scheme and sign up, go to www.highpeak.gov.uk/Pick-Fit.