The Keep Luton Tidy group officially launched on March 25, to coincide with the Great British Spring Clean, with a mission to encourage people to get out and clean up their area.
The group, organised by ABCD-in-Luton, has been making an impression since June last year, but launched itself on the wider Luton area with the aim to do 37 clean-ups in 17 days, spanning every ward in the town.
Together with Love Luton, the group is aiming to clean up areas where people live, learn, work and play, and is encouraging volunteers to get out and make a difference to their environment.
“We have become a society which expects services to be done for us,” said ABCD co-founder Kevin Poulton. “But we need to change that narrative.
"There is a great sense of satisfaction in seeing an area tidied and I am humbled by the work of the people that come out.”
On March 25 the group started clearing up at Luton Town Football Club before the Arriva bus station, followed by Chantry Primary School and working with the residents group in Marsh Farm.
By March 30, 421 bags had been filled with volunteers putting in a total of 250 hours. The bags are collected by Luton Council for disposal.
"We are trying to get more and more people involved,” said Kevin. “All people have to do is make a pledge on our website or turn up at an event.”
Since June 2021 around 800 people have helped clear up areas.
Kevin says groups have been out monthly to keep an area clean but some are now finding they can cut back as locals start to realise the benefits and less rubbish is dumped. More than 3,500 bags of rubbish has been picked up in the nine months to date.
"We believe this will start the change of the way things are done around here leading to increased pride in the town and stronger communities, said Kevin.
Future clean-ups are planned around the University of Bedfordshire, Barnfield College Sixth Form College, LutonBID, Arriva, Easyjet, Carlise Support Services, Ryebridge, Treacle Factory, Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire Fire and Luton Council.
To find out more and get involved go to abcd-in-luton.org