Cleaning Up Caerau Ely F.C with McDonald’s Cardiff & Keep Wales Tidy

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.

Me wearing a green plastic vest, holding a litter picker and black bin bag underneath the 'Caerau Ely F.C' sign

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.

Nicola Carter from McDonald's Cardiff taking part in a litter pick organised by McDonald's and Keep Wales Tidy

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.

A McDonald's 'McCafe' plastic cup held up in front of a football pitch

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.

Painting over graffiti at Caerau Ely F.C in a litterpick organised by McDonald's Cardiff and Keep Wales Tidy

Painting over graffiti at Caerau Ely F.C in a litterpick organised by McDonald's Cardiff and Keep Wales Tidy

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!

Black bags and bulky waste collected at the litter pick organised by McDonald's Cardiff and Keep Wales Tidy

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.”

Three McDonald's Cardiff volunteers stop for a quick photo at the litter pick with Keep Wales Tidy at Caerau Ely F.C, Cardiff

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.

“It’s been a great turnout from McDonald’s,” said McDonald’s People Manager, Nicola Carter (pictured above centre, in the high-vis jacket). “It’s been great to work with the football team and it’s been a great event.” Following on from the litter pick at Caerau Ely F.C, McDonald’s plan to hold a ten mile litter pick between five of their Cardiff branches. I had such a good time helping out this weekend, I really am tempted to join them!

A group shot of the volunteers at the McDonald's Cardiff and Keep Wales Tidy litter pick at Caerau Ely F.C., Cardiff

Were you aware of the wider work McDonald’s does to support the environment? Have you ever taken part in a litter pick?

A spring clean at Caerau Ely. FC., Cardiff with a sponsored litter pick with McDonald's and Keep Wales Tidy, including photography. This is part of McDonald's wider work on waste management in the local environment, aiming to increase recycling and send more plastic waste to landfill. #environment #urban #litter #waste #plastic #packaging #cardiff #mcdonalds #keepwalestidy #springcleancymru

A spring clean at Caerau Ely. FC., Cardiff with a sponsored litter pick with McDonald's and Keep Wales Tidy, including photography. This is part of McDonald's wider work on waste management in the local environment, aiming to increase recycling and send more plastic waste to landfill. #environment #urban #litter #waste #plastic #packaging #cardiff #mcdonalds #keepwalestidy #springcleancymru

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This is a collaborative post.

18 Comments

  1. April 15, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    what a great initiative to be involved in. I had no idea that McDonalds did this kind of thing. i have done some community litter picking in the past with my church

    • April 17, 2018 / 2:39 pm

      I really enjoyed it and I’d love to do it again 🙂

  2. April 16, 2018 / 8:34 am

    Litter picks are such an important part of any community, I think, and it’s so good to get the kids involved as they’ll be less likely to litter themselves as they get older. Great initiative, this!

    • April 17, 2018 / 3:13 pm

      It was a great way to educate kids on caring for the environment, and I had a really good time helping out too 🙂

  3. April 16, 2018 / 6:06 pm

    This was a great idea…..I don’t know what my area McD’s does charity or community outreach wise but hats off to you and your local McDonald’s. What a way to give back!

    • April 17, 2018 / 2:27 pm

      Thank you. It was actually really enjoyable 🙂

  4. April 16, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    I didn’t know how much mac Donald’s did for the local areas. It’s pretty impressive.

    • April 17, 2018 / 2:27 pm

      I wasn’t aware of exactly how much they did until I got involved with this campaign either.

  5. April 17, 2018 / 2:01 pm

    Big well done getting involved, it looks like you all did a great job, these kind of initiatives are so important. Mich x

    • April 17, 2018 / 2:12 pm

      Thank you! I actually really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to doing similar stuff in future.

  6. April 17, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    I actually wasn’t aware of this campaign MacDonalds is involved in, great work you guys, such a great thing for the community

    • April 18, 2018 / 12:27 pm

      Thank you. It has really opened my eyes to the work that McDonald’s does to improve the environment.

  7. April 22, 2018 / 5:07 pm

    I had no idea that McDonald’s were involved in initiatives like this – but it’s great to read about the work they corporation are doing (especially as I’m sure some of the rubbish you collected was from the fast food chain itself!). What a productive and satisfying project to be a part of, you should be proud of yourself 🙂 x

    • April 23, 2018 / 9:04 am

      Thank you so much. I really enjoyed taking part and I took a lot away from it on a personal level.

  8. April 22, 2018 / 8:30 pm

    This is such a lovely initiative! I used to do this all the time in school, glad there are more initiatives like this out there 🙂

    • April 23, 2018 / 9:02 am

      I am hoping to get involved in more litter picks soon. There is one going on this week, but I’ll be in Portugal so I’m going to miss it.

  9. April 25, 2018 / 2:32 pm

    I definitely wasn’t aware of the wider work that McDonalds do before reading this post – and what a fab way to support the community and encourage less litter. Looks like a great project to be part of. x

    • April 30, 2018 / 11:43 am

      Thanks Amy. I really enjoyed taking part and I am already on the lookout for future litter picks to take part in 🙂

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