An army of volunteers braved the rain to remove more than 250 bags of rubbish off Newham’s much loved Greenway on Friday.
Residents, community groups, schools and businesses from across the borough took part in the Thames Water and Newham Council-organised ‘Great Greenway Clean Up’, designed to enhance the area for visitors and the community.
Cans, bottles, food packaging and other rubbish were collected by around 450 volunteers with some of the more unusual finds including bicycles, a mattress, car tyres and a hammock.
Thames Water community investment coordinator Neeti Bindra said: “We work hard to be good neighbours in the communities we work in and occasions like the litter pick are a great opportunity for us to do that. It was great to have so much support and our thanks go to everyone who got stuck into the challenge in miserable weather.
“We were especially moved to see all the school children who were there, despite the rain and cold. They’re the real heroes and future of the community and we salute them.”
Deputy Mayor (Statutory), Strategic Delivery and Cabinet Member for Community Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Planning and Public Affairs, Councillor Ken Clark, said: “I am delighted so many people came out to take part in the Great Greenway Clean Up and the other clean up days organised by Newham Council.
“We are committed to ridding this borough of the rubbish that people carelessly dump on our streets and open spaces. These clean up events send a clear message from the local communities that they will not tolerate their areas being the dumping ground for others.
“These events also reflect the very ethos of our community neighbourhood work to bring people together to enhance their local areas.”
Volunteers who took part came from a Number of Newham schools and organisations including Thames Water, View Tube, Poplar HARCA , Dot Dot Dot, ByWaters, Eight2O, Belfour Beatty, The Conservation Volunteer group and First Avenue Urban Wilderness Community Garden group.
The events across the Greenway were part of a range of community clean up days organised by the council’s Community Neighbourhood Teams. Local councillors took part in the clean ups in their areas and the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, joined the Greenway clean up in Stratford.
Babu Bhattacherjee, Director of Communities & Neighbourhoods, Poplar HARCA said: “We’re delighted to support Thames Water and Newham Council on this effort to clean up the Greenway. Along with our View Tube partners Dot Dot Dot and The Common Greenway, we share Thames Water's commitment to maintaining The Greenway as an attractive and useful path for everyone in East London.”
Another Great Greenway Clean Up, first launched by a team from Thames Water’s Abbey Mills pumping station last year, is planned for November.