Independent Volunteer Litter Picking

Lewes District Council works hard to keep the district clean and tidy including regular street cleaning, deep cleans and action days in towns and villages. There are also individuals and groups in the district who carry out voluntary litter picks independent from the council. We are very grateful for the hard work of these residents.

We offer the following support to independent litter picking groups:

  • We can provide you with refuse bags
  • We can provide you litter ‘pickers’ and protective gloves
  • We will arrange to collect your bags at the end of your litter picking session

If you are organising a litter pick or community clear up event, please contact us so we can arrange to collect your bags, lend you equipment if needed and help you with carry out a risk assessment. Email or call 01273 471600.

Advice for independent litter pickers

Litter Action provide helpful advice and resources such as a guide to setting up a community litter pick on their website

Litter pickers can be exposed to a number of easily avoidable hazards. Please never carrying out any litter picking activity on verges beside roads. If you are unsure about the safety of a litter picking location please contact us for advice. Litter picking should not be carried out by people under the age of 18 or by vulnerable adults.

If appropriate, we also strongly advise your group takes out public liability insurance – read more about this below.


Many items of litter are recyclable. If you are able to, please collect these recyclable items separately. We have a full list of items we accept for recycling

Local litter pick network

We are working with town and parish councils in the district to set up a network of local independent volunteer litter pickers. The aim of the network is to recognise the good work of these groups, support the activity of existing volunteer litter pickers, help new groups to set up, share useful information and help litter pickers have their voices heard.

Why join the network?

  • Find a litter pick group to join
  • Receive news and updates about local litter picking and clean-up projects
  • Have your group and activity listed in our newsletter or web page
  • Attract new members to your group
  • A chance to meet up with other litter picking groups
  • Receive invitations to events such as a tour of the waste depot and incinerator
  • A chance to share your experiences and connect with like-minded people

How to join the network

Anyone can join as an individual or group. Simply subscribe to our litter picking newsletter by ticking the local litter pick box (under Waste and Recycling) to join the mailing list.

To have your group or event listed in this newsletter, email with the relevant details including the group’s name, location, how often you meet and how people go about joining.

Local litter pick groups

Coming soon! Contact us to have your group added here.


Independent volunteer litter pickers are not working for, or on behalf of, Lewes District Council, therefore you are not covered by the council's insurance. We strongly recommend obtaining public liability insurance that covers your legal liability arising from accidental damage or injury that may occur during the event, including damage or injury to a member of the public or their property.

If you are an individual organising a tidy up your current household insurance may cover you for public liability. You will need to check your policy to ensure you are covered. If not you will need to take out a separate public liability insurance.

If you represent an organisation such as a local council or school it is possible that you already have insurance in place but it is important to check that litter picking activity is covered under such insurance. If not, a suitable extension should be made to the policy. If you are unable to obtain public liability insurance for your event please contact BTCV on 01302 572244 as they can provide group insurance or visit


Volunteer litter-picking groups are not part of, nor agents of, Lewes District Council. Litter-picking by individuals as part of a volunteer group is entirely at the volunteer’s own risk, and Lewes District Council accepts no responsibility for any injury or damage that might arise to such individuals or to other persons as a consequence of those individuals’ litter-picking activity. 

Volunteer groups may ask you to sign a separate disclaimer with them before you start. In any event, volunteers may wish to enquire of their chosen litter-picking group whether it has taken out public liability insurance in respect of their litter-picking activities, and what any such cover provides.