Jim Millar is one of more than 50 street champions taking part in Merton Council’s Street Champions initiative.
Jim, 57, goes out three times a week and picks up litter from the area around where he lives in Wimbledon.
“I just want to give something back,” says the former railway man who says his efforts are often praised by passers-by.
“I take pride in where I live and it’s satisfying to see the streets I cover looking much tidier as a result of my efforts.”
“We’ve all got to play our part and help keep Merton clean. The council can’t clear up after everyone all the time and this helps bridge the gap. If everyone put their rubbish in the bin or took it home with them, there wouldn’t be a problem.”
It is easy to become a street champion. Merton Council supplies the refuse sacks and litter pickers, and collects the refuse from a pre-arranged spot agreed with the street champions. In Jim’s case, it’s outside his block of flats.
Merton Council cabinet member for street cleanliness and parking Councillor Ross Garrod said: “It’s wonderful we have so many residents who are part of our Street Champions initiative.
“We know most people want to keep the borough clean and tidy, but there is a significant minority of people who feel they can drop their rubbish for somebody else to pick up. That costs us over £5 million a year. We can all do our bit to keep Merton clean for the benefit of all of us.”
Residents wishing to be a street champion or who would like to organise their own community litter pick can find out about how the council can help by going to the Street Champion page on the council’s website.