Taking part in a litter pick on a Sunday wearing what may as well be a bright green bin bag might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but as I discovered this weekend, it actually feels really good! As part of Keep Wales Tidy’s Spring Clean Cymru campaign, McDonald’s volunteers came together to clean up their local area last weekend. I teamed up with around 30 volunteers of all ages from McDonald’s Cardiff restaurants, Caerau Ely F. C and ACE (a charity dedicated to supporting young people in disadvantaged communities) to help clean up the football grounds in time for Spring.
The litter pick came about when one of the volunteers, Stacey (who works at McDonald’s, and whose son attends Caerau Ely F.C) suggested to local restaurant franchisee, Ralph Parker that the restaurants helped to spruce up the club’s grounds.
The litter pick was made all the more important to me because I actually grew up in Caerau and I lived there until I was 16-years-old, so it was lovely to go back to my roots and give back to the community by helping local volunteers to clean up the football grounds.
Wearing thick rubber gloves and armed with bin bags and litter-pickers, we set about clearing the rubbish from around the pitch. From plastic bottles, cans and sweet wrappers, to tyres, toys and plastic piping; we came across all kinds of waste.
At lunch time, we stopped for a well-deserved break with hot and cold drinks, and McDonald’s fruit bags to nibble on.
The litter pick continued after lunch, with the football stand also receiving some TLC as volunteers removed graffiti and added a new coat of paint, trimmed the edges around the path and jet-sprayed the paths around the grounds.
By the end of the day, we managed to fill no less than 38 bin bags with waste.
As if that wasn’t enough, we also collected a considerable amount of bulky waste including bust tyres, broken toys, paint pots, alloy wheels, piping and wooden boards – I even came across a car dashboard!
Speaking at the event, local councillor Peter Bradbury said:
“We’re here as part of McDonald’s involvement in Keep Wales Tidy’s Spring Clean Cymru campaign to tidy up the area around Caerau Ely Football Club. It’s been brilliantly organised by the Club, McDonald’s Cardiff and ACE [a charity dedicated to supporting young people in disadvantaged communities]… It’s important to remember that this is your local environment, and we really need to look after it.
Meanwhile, Caroline from ACE added, “Today, we’ve collected quite a lot of rubbish. It’s really surprising how much rubbish has been collected already, thanks to the fantastic volunteers.”
The event forms part of the wider work that McDonald’s carries out to champion litter prevention in the community, with organised clean-ups like this taking place throughout the country and staff from McDonald’s stores conducting daily litter picks around restaurants. A firm supporter of Keep Wales Tidy for several years, the McDonald’s believes sees its own crew members and customers as invaluable in helping raise awareness of the litter that surrounds us and the how we can all take action against it.
Were you aware of the wider work McDonald’s does to support the environment? Have you ever taken part in a litter pick?