The Big Clean

Recently, we teamed up with our partners at Surrey Heath Borough Council, our local customers and local volunteers on the Big Clean Campaign. The aim was to work together and support the communities of Surrey Heath with clearing fly-tipping, whilst highlighting the damage it causes and the cost of removing it.

Fly-tipping is a growing concern for the area, and we work closely with Surrey Heath Borough Council to try and tackle the problem. It spoils people’s homes and local communities and can cause other forms of anti-social behaviour.

Fly tipping is a growing concern across the borough, and we are committed to working with our customers and our community partners to tackle this and all forms of anti-social behaviour. Our newly formed community development team are creating new local and national partnerships, so we can deliver more campaigns like this in the future, not only tackling anti-social behaviour, but improving our customers’ homes and communities in the process. 

After identifying local fly-tipping hotspots, something we’ve been monitoring for some time, we hired skip containers for the event. On each ‘skip’ day we had an actual skip in one area, with ‘pick up’ points in other areas.

Accent staff, Tesco volunteers and teams from Surrey Heath joined together for the events. We informed customers of the events with flyers posted through their doors and door knocking.

On the litter pick days, 14 bin liners full of litter were collected in just two areas alone.

Our customers were very supportive of our efforts, and it felt great to be able to help people at the same time as being able to speak with them about any issues they might be facing and what we could do to help. Mental health is a particular concern, with many people facing challenges which meant they could not even begin to think about how to clear their gardens, sheds and homes. With our support, they could clear what they wanted to.

We soon saw that some customers couldn’t clear what they wanted to without physical help. Teaming up with Surrey Heath Borough Council staff and Tesco volunteers, we did most of the physical removal where this was the case.

One skip had to be emptied halfway through the day as there was so much rubbish collected and, on another site, the grab lorry had to make two trips due to the amount.  

It was great to have volunteers from Tesco helping us on both sites.  

“It’s great to see the community coming together like this to help us” one customer told us. Another said “Thank you so much for helping me and my son clear our garden. I had no idea where to start.”

A colleague at Surrey Heath Borough Council said: “Our officers are delighted to have assisted Accent and their tenants with the local clear up and are looking forward to participating in future joint ventures that benefit the community.”    

Staff from some of the companies based on the estates where we were working bought us bottles of water and doughnuts.

“Thank you from all of us in the offices for doing this” one employee said. “It’s great to see you working together and making a difference.”

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