Students take on 'The Big Tidy Up' Challenge

Students and staff at Dudley College are joining in the country's biggest ever litter collection to help spruce up the Dudley Learning Quarter as part of 'The Big Tidy Up' initiative, organised by Keep Britain Tidy.

The week-long campaign, which launches at the college on Monday 6 January, will see students and staff working hard to ensure their litter gathering activities contribute to the overall national target of collecting 500,000 bags by the end of the tidy up. Thousands of volunteers across the country have already taken part to clean up their patches, and have notched up more than 120,000 bags of rubbish in the campaign.

To keep track of their activity there will be a 'Bin-ometer' located in the college where litter pickers will record how many bags they have collected. Equipment will be loaned out and students getting involved can record volunteering hours if they join in.

Jane Langford, Centre Manager Learner Support and Access at the college, whose team has organised the event, explained "As the 'Bin-ometer' scores-on-the-board creep up during the week we're certain this will act as a reminder of just how much rubbish the community drops. We want our students to think about using litter bins as it is important all young people are aware that keeping our environment litter-free is everyone's responsibility."

One of the first groups to join in the 'Big Tidy Up' are the 2nd year Health and Social Care students who spent the day collecting litter from the local area. Sean Carbery, who wants to go onto to train as a paramedic, said "Our college course is really interesting, especially when we get involved in projects that benefit the community, like The Big Tidy up. Volunteering for this activity gets our tutor group working together and helps me to give something back to my community."

Amy Powell and Jess Howes, who are both planning to become teachers, are happy to participate in The Big Tidy Up as they told us “We want to make Dudley a better place and doing something like this means we get ‘real’ experience and ideas that we can use once we start teaching to get young children involved in their community.”

The college is also launching a competition to coincide with The Big Tidy Up, where students can show their commitment to tackling the litter issue through a short story, poem, piece of art, photograph or news report.
As part of the competition prize, the winning students will visit Weir Waste Disposal to see how the rubbish they've collected is processed at the local industrial recycling plant, where all the college's rubbish is processed and recycled.

Picture caption:

Back row left to right
Amy Powell age 17 from Oldbury, Jasmine Harnett age 17 from Bilston, Lauren Yale age 18 from Sedgley, Katie Webb age 17 and Jess Howes age 18 both from Tipton.

Front row
Mariana Thomas age 17 from Wolverhampton and Sean Carbery age 17 from Dudley.