Membership of the Litter Action Group for Ealing Residents has reached almost 2,000, with 1,800 Facebook followers and a further 200-300 members who do not use social media.
The group of volunteers, called LAGER Can, who are clearing up rubbish, was founded in 2011 by Keith Freegard, a then resident of Hanwell who was upset by the rubbish in his local park.
Ealing Council support LAGER Can by providing them with branded rubbish bags, hi-vis vests and collecting the rubbish the volunteers assemble.
Cathy Swift, LAGER Can’s group leader since 2020, said: “Litter has increased hugely in recent years, possibly due to the growth in consumption of fast food.
“Some residents do not have bins, people complain about inadequate public bin provision and if public spaces are not kept clean people take less care of them.
“Ealing has a large transient population and people who do not feel any sense of ownership, especially if they have other problems, may be less inclined to take care of the environment.
“Some unscrupulous businesses and some residents fly-tip their rubbish to avoid changes for legitimate disposal.”
Cathy believes that it should be made easier for residents and businesses to dispose of their unwanted items and rubbish responsibly.
LAGER Can works with schools and youth groups to stress the importance of reducing waste consumption and correct rubbish disposal.
The group who supervises young people working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in May 2021.
Cathy said: “By working together we can solve seemingly impossible rubbish problems.
“LAGER Can has developed a brand, our members and our bags are a strong visible presence around the borough.
“The group provided a useful outlet for hundreds of members who might have otherwise struggled during Covid.
“Many friendships have been made as our members share the same values.”
Kingston residents have been growing increasingly concerned over the levels of litter with some calling for a group similar to LAGER Can.
Cathy expressed that LAGER Can are happy to share their experiences with anyone willing to set a group up.
Homoga Istvan, Kingston resident, said: “A group like LAGER Can would give a boost to Kingston, there are lots of students here and I think it would give them the opportunity to work for the greater good.
“I am worried. The main problem is that there are private lands which are very dirty and these are often hidden from people’s eyes like at the back of buildings.
“Another problem is there aren’t enough litter bins and if one of them is full no one does anything to empty it on time.”
To find out more about LAGER Can click here.