LITTER PICKING SAFETY TIPS
leaning up litter not only helps reduce plastic bits ending up in our soil and water but also minimizes hazards for children, our doggie friends, and wildlife. However, litter cleanups are not without risk. If you want to clean up litter around your neighbourhood or a trail you use, we’ve assembled a list of tips for doing it as safely as possible.
Important: Pandemic precautions
If you do a cleanup, please make sure you follow Brampton COVID Guidelines for gathering with others you don’t live with.
Scout out the area you’d like to clean up and note potential hazards (traffic, water, uneven terrain, etc.).
Have a plan for where the trash will go (your trash bin at home? Or a nearby business might let you use their dumpster).
Set an objective and stick to it — if you want to make a trail pretty, avoid getting sidetracked by litter not visible from the trail.
Dress for the weather and the work — long pants, work gloves, and boots or closed-toe shoes.
Bring a long pointed stick or a litter picker/grabber arm to:
help you identify items before picking them up (something that looks like a straw or a pen could be a syringe)
help you see if something sharp or toxic is lurking under the visible item
save your back (less bending)
Bring heavy-duty trash bags (cheap ones tear easily) or use 20 litre/5 gallon pails.
Have a second pail for recyclables and beer/wine bottles to turn in to LCBO/The Beer Store.
Consider bringing water and snacks.
Do not wear headphones (stay alert).
Keep a cell phone handy.
Work in pairs. Supervise youth closely, and consider leaving small children at home. You never know what you will come across when picking up litter.
Take special care when picking up litter along a roadway: Clean up one side of the road or street at a time; face traffic (safer than having traffic coming towards your back), wear a high-visibility safety vest, and remember that drivers may not expect to see people on the roadside.
Obey traffic lights; use intersections and marked crosswalks.
Avoid horseplay — litter cleanup comes with risk so save the goofy stuff for later.
Warning! Take special care with hazardous material
Do not allow children to handle anything that might be hazardous.
Place glass shards in an empty plastic bottle and seal it.
Be extra-cautious with anything that might contain hazardous chemicals, such as an empty pesticide jug or a car battery (you can always alert 311
Know the quickest route to the hospital in case someone gets hurt.
Thank you for helping to clean up our community, and stay safe!