Litter – Focus Point 3

Review The Litter Rota

The Litter Rota in Action


Here is an example of the Litter Rota.  It features on our Eco Board.  You can see the names of the pupils which covers the whole class to give everyone a turn across the month.  The pupils work in pairs and know that they either have to litter pick in the P1area, the middle of the playground or the basketball court.  This covers the whole playground.



Litter Stars!


Our Litter Patrol currently operates on a class rota basis to give every pupil an opportunity to take responsibility for keeping our school clean.  We are delighted that everyone takes part but a big thank you has to go to these two P6 pupils for being regular litter pickers, volunteering several times a week – even when it’s not their class who is litter picking.  Mrs. Jones has given them a shout out on twitter.  They really are role models for our school.


As of May 2019, there will no longer be a litter patrol operating on a volunteer basis.  See below for further details.

Litter Picking Feedback


What the pupils said

We asked for feedback during lockdown about litter picking to see what our pupils think about it.  From the responses, most enjoy litter picking and understand why it is important.  For those who do not like it, it seems that it’s because they are being asked to give up their break when they would rather be playing with their friends.


This is something we need to take into consideration moving forward with the litter rota.  We want everyone to see the value in doing it since it’s in our Eco Code. – Everyone has a responsibility for looking after our planet.  We will talk with Mrs. Jones to see if there’s another way we can still litter pick but build it into the school day instead of using break times.



What the teachers said

“I think it is good that every class and every pupil takes a turn litter picking.  That way, they can see what Mr. Paul our school janitor sees everyday and also how much litter is dropped that he has to pick up.” Miss. Morrison


“I think it is important that everyone has a turn litter picking as it is part of our Eco Code that everyone has a responsibility.  I also think that pupils will be less likely to drop litter in future as they know what it feels likes to pick up someone else’s litter.  Long term, it will help them to become responsible citizens who care about their environment.” Miss. Fraser



What Mr. Paul said

“As the school janitor, I have a responsibility to look after the school grounds, this includes picking up the litter.  The class rota ensures that everyone has the opportunity to litter pick which I think is really good as it gives everyone the experience of walking in my shoes!  I think it also encourages the pupils to use the bins for their litter and I know this is true because there has been a significant reduction in the amount of litter I am having to pick up in and around the school grounds.  I think that it is fantastic to see litter being the responsibility of all and I know that reflects the school’s Eco Code.  It also means I have more time to do other things to help the school!”  Mr. Paul, School Janitor

Identifying Litter Hot Spots

We investigated the litter spots in the school grounds.  While the main part of the school grounds is quite clean and clear of litter, the hot spots tend to be in small shrub areas and around the perimeter fencing.  This tells us that litter is being trapped in these areas, most probably by the wind.  Some of the litter might have been blown into the playground too.  You can see this from the photos below.

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Creating a Map


These are where the litter spots are on a map of the school grounds.



Litter Picking Audit


We did an audit to see how much litter picking equipment we have.  We found out we have:

  • 12 pickers
  • 4 bin hoops
  • 12 high viz jackets
  • 12 gloves


All our equipment is in the rotunda ready to be used by classes.  However, due to COVID-19 health and safety guidance, all equipment needs to be thoroughly cleaned between use.


If the biggest class is 33 pupils and you wanted the whole class to litter pick, we worked out that we would need:

  • 5 more pickers
  • 13 more hoops
  • More high viz bibs and gloves but we’d need to check guidelines due to COVID-19 as the plastic hoops and pickers are easily cleaned.


Therefore, we think we definitely need more equipment to make sure whole classes can take part at once.  We will speak to Mrs. Jones to see if it is possible to get more.  We will suggest using some of the Rag Bag funds to buy the equipment.







Taking Action

We spoke with Mrs. Jones and she thinks it would be a good idea to give all the classes an area of the school grounds to take responsibility for so that everyone is playing their part.  It would be up to each class to organise when and how often they do this.