Story: Hannah and Naomi – Big Tidy

Home Bristol Walkfest News Story: Hannah and Naomi – Big Tidy

Tell us a bit about yourself…

Launched in October 2019 by Mayor Marvin Rees, the Big Tidy project is bringing the sparkle back to the city by working hand-in-hand with residents and Bristol Waste street cleansing crews. The team is made up of Bristol City Council Housing Officers, street cleansers, parks officers, graffiti removal experts and Bristol Waste Community Engagement Officers. We had some big results in 2022; our crews cleaned 546 streets, removed 5,492 graffiti tags and cleared 219 fly tips across Bristol. They also remove on average 10 tonnes of detritus and fly-tip each week! 

The Big Tidy launched in 2019

Tell us how litter picking and walking plays a part in the Big Tidy.

A big part of the project is holding litter picks with residents, businesses and communities around Bristol. Last year, we worked with large groups such as the Bristol Bears and National Citizen Service volunteers, and smaller local groups like the Meadow Hills Community Group and Sustainable Westbury-on-Trym. 

During litter picks, we often find that we walk several thousand steps without even realising it! Litter picking is quite a focused activity and people really get enthusiastic about it, so you can easily exercise while doing something good for the city. With this in mind, we were very excited to hold a walk for Bristol Walk Fest.

Why should someone join your walk?

It’s a great way to have a go at litter picking if it’s something you’ve always wanted to try. If you prefer a slower pace, litter picking while walking is great because you naturally slow down as you look for litter around you. You’ll get the benefits of the fresh air, some lovely South Bristol green spaces, and the good vibes from cleaning up our natural environment. Plus, it’s a midday walk so you can join on your lunch break!

The National Citizen Service litter pick in Easton

What can people do in their own time to help with litter picking? 

The easiest way to help keep Bristol clean is to always put your litter in the bin or take it home with you. It sounds obvious, but we often see overflowing bins on weekends where people have enjoyed their hot beverage for instance, seen that the bin is full, and still left their disposable cup on the ground! Our street cleansing crews will clean up litter but it can blow away into hedges or rivers before they get to it. With everyone doing their bit, we can keep the city nice and tidy.

If your area does have a litter problem, you can borrow litter picking kits from our community engagement team or report it for cleaning online here.

All the information you need to get involved in litter picking can be found here and there’s already plenty of litter picking groups around Bristol, so check out what’s going on near you. 

What happens to the rubbish once it’s been collected? 

Most waste will go into a green refuse bag but we also offer white recycling bags if volunteers want to separate the litter. We see lots of metal cans and plastic bottles, so we really appreciate it when volunteers are happy to carry an extra bag for litter that can be recycled. Our crews come and pick up the bags, then litter in green refuse bags goes to the same place as household non-recyclable waste and is turned into energy.

A big tidy on Horfield Common

What will I need / be given on a litter picking walk?

Join us for a litter picking walk and everything you need will be provided! This includes a litter picker, bags and a bag hoop to make it easier to put litter in the bag. We don’t provide gloves as you should only pick up litter with the picker. 

A final word from the Big Tidy Check out the Big Tidy website for even more ways to get involved with our project. Environmentally minded children can join the Little Big Tidiers scheme, businesses can contact us about running corporate social responsibility events, and any resident can make the Big Tidy pledge to keep Bristol clean and green. If you have any questions for our team, you can contact us at 


Wed 10 May 2023
Last Updated
Wed 10 May 2023