Casey Dalton started cleaning her street because she was tired of litter cluttering her neighbourhood and she soon realised the local community shared her frustration.
The Harrow Litter Pickers group now has 400 members who clean up areas across the north western borough.
The group works alongside the council and local businesses to tackle hotspots in the area and help keep community spaces clean.
Casey, who has lived in Harrow over 20 years, said: “Volunteering is really about a community taking pride in where they live.
“When you see stuff thrown all over your street it brings an area down and makes it feel unloved and uncared for.
“It’s a big issue, not to mention the massive environmental impacts of the mountains of plastic and packaging.”
Harrow Litter Pickers brings hard-working volunteers together from all areas of the community including families with young children, retirees or school children doing Duke of Edinburgh.
Casey said: “I’ve met so many amazing people within the group, people I would never ordinarily have met.
“It’s a good form of exercise and it’s nice to socialise. It’s uplifting and it makes you feel like you’re doing something good.”
Casey explained residents often feel cleaning the streets is the council’s job but the levels of rubbish on the streets are beyond anything we should expect.
After years of collecting litter, Casey doesn’t feel dispirited.
She added: “I thought as time went on I’d become more immune to the litter but I just got angrier.
“On my street we were getting two fly tips a day, there’s a lot more community pride now people know that somebody cares.
“People are less likely to drop their rubbish. It really makes a difference.”
Community members can volunteer as much or as little as they like and clear areas they wish to keep tidy.
Harrow Litter Pickers have collected 3500 bags of rubbish this year and given 1500 volunteer hours.
Litter picking events run via Facebook four or five times a week and volunteers regularly share their individual efforts with ‘before and after’ images.
The group’s enthusiasm has been bolstered by Keep Britain Tidy 2022 Great British Spring Clean campaign which encourages people across Britain to pick up as much litter as they can from the 25th March-10th April.
Keep Britain Tidy launched the campaign with the belief that every act to protect the environment, no matter how small, makes a difference, a belief Casey shares.
She said: “I feel the only way to really get action is for the community to rise up.
“The more people that show they care, the more impact that will have and the more pressure it will put on the powers at be to actually put something in place.”
For more information on how to get involved visit the Harrow Litter Pickers group on Facebook.