Mountains of rubbish and heaps of fun - cleaning Malago Greenway!
Saturday morning, 10 am. People start to gather for what turned out to be the biggest clean up event in the history of Malago Greenway Project.
The Bristol Waste Reuse gazebo is up, the litter pickers and the neatly folded jackets are waiting to be picked by the phenomenal team of volunteers. After a short introduction and the compulsory health and safety talk, people gear up and get to work. A massive task lays ahead - clearing Brixham Road Open Space, Somer Lane and the banks of the Malago - and only two hours to do it.
We were astonished at the enthusiasm and commitment of the volunteers on this day.
Bag by bag, the mountain of rubbish grows and what started like a very serious gathering is becoming a lot more relaxed. People work really hard, but every now and again you can hear the air filling with laughter. The children seem to have a lot of fun discovering more and more unexpected objects embedded in the bushes around the park. Just when things start to slow down, the lovely people from The Good Gym appear and, with a final push, clear out most of Somer Lane. The cakes kindly donated by Greggs and the fruits from East Street Fruit and Vegetable Market are being devoured while neighbours meet neighbours and people chat happily, with an obvious sense of achievement. Some of the volunteers pick up some interesting findings from under the Bristol Waste gazebo. And with that, the event comes to an end.
And what a roaring success this Spring Cleaning was! The pictures speak loudly in terms of results simply take a look at the final heap at one of the two collection points.
Emma Williams, Bristol Waste’s Engagement Officer for the South of Bristol said: “We were astonished at the enthusiasm and commitment of the volunteers on this day. And what an extraordinary difference they made to this beautiful green space. We are totally committed to supporting residents and groups like The Malago Greenway who want to help clean up parts of their communities. We have loads of litter picking kits available. We provide the bags and will take the litter away for free. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304 9022.
But more than anything, this event managed to bring people together like never before. These volunteers are now committed to turn this once neglected park into a community hub, a place where they can meet and enjoy new friends and neighbours.