Keeping Our Beaches Clean
Here at Southend we value our seven miles of coastline, Shoeburyness to Leigh-on-Sea, and take pride in ensuring our beaches are a clean and safe environment for all. We have a thorough daily beach cleaning programme in conjunction with our partner Veolia. Veolia attend our beaches every morning ensuring they are clean and safe for the coming day, they carry out regular machine raking on the beaches that have access for the machine and they also carry out litter picks randomly throughout the day. In the very busy summer months it is unavoidable that a certain amount of litter will build up as the day goes on, but this will be cleared in the following mornings beach clean. For more information on our beach locations and facilities please visit Our Beaches.
Veolia clean over seven miles of beaches, and empty hundreds of litter bins along the seafront every day.
The day starts by raking the beach with a mechanical beach raker. Cleansing teams then clear litter and empty litter bins throughout the day until late into the evening.
At the end of the day, when visitors are beginning to head home, any rubbish left on the beaches is litter-picked, bagged up and sent on its way.
On a busy summer weekend, we can collect 20 tonnes of rubbish and litter from the seafront alone. That means that in a matter of hours the same amount of waste is produced as that of 22 households during the course of a whole year.
Community Beach Cleans
Taking part in community action that helps to improve the quality of Southend on Sea beaches is a great way to show that you care about the environment, it will also encourage other beach users to be aware of how they use the beach and not to litter.
You could organise your own beach clean with friends or family. Alternatively you may want to take part in an event arranged by another group or organisation.
Alternatively if you wish to get involved with the various other volunteer initiatives and projects within the Borough for example keeping our Green Spaces Clean then please see our Make Southend Sparkle page for more information on making Southend a Greener Cleaner place.
Organising a Beach Clean
Here is a checklist with some simple tips for arranging a beach clean:
- contact Southend-on-Sea Borough Council via Beach Clean Team providing details of your group – the number of volunteers, name and contact details of lead/contact person with information about which beach(es) you want to clean, dates and times
- produce a risk assessment and have a copy of your public liability insurance ready, if you do not have public liability insurance or a risk assessment, the Marine Conservation Society may be able to assist you with this. The Marine Conservation Society also operate different campaigns and the Beachwatch campaign which involves up to four beach cleans and surveys a year
- once you have received confirmation of your Beach Clean please email Veolia with date, time and location details to arrange collection of the waste generated by your Beach Clean. Think about where you will leave the waste you collect (is there a landmark close by, i.e. public toilet block, signage or even litter bins?). If you are uncertain of where to leave the waste for collection then Veolia can also provide advice
- ensure a mobile phone is available for use during the beach clean (if needles are found they must be reported immediately on 01702 215000)
- we may be able to lend you protective clothing and gloves and equipment, please request at time of first contact
The Day of your Beach Clean
We will invite your group to have a Health & Safety briefing with a member of our Team (the time and location will be provided at the time of your Beach Clean confirmation). Here you will also be able to collect any equipment you have requested and ask any last questions you may have.
Remember Safety First! Whilst we appreciate all your help, always put the safety of yourself, friends and family first.
- do wear heavy duty gloves and be particularly careful when handling broken glass or sharp metal objects
- do use litter pickers
- do consider having a first aid kit available
- do ensure children are always supervised by an adult
- do have a mobile phone available and call Southend Council immediately on 01702 215000 if you discover a needle on the beach
- do ensure that everybody washes their hands and avoids touching their face or mouth during and after the litter pick
- do check tide times and check if the incoming tide will affect your Beach Clean
- don’t enter potentially dangerous areas in order to remove litter
- don’t attempt to remove any large, heavy or potentially hazardous waste. Call Southend Council on 01702 21500 if you find something which you feel could be dangerous for you to move on your own
- don’t get cut off by incoming tides
- don’t attempt to pick up needles if discovered, they should be covered and Southend Council should be called on 01702 215000
Helping Local Groups and Organisations
Rivercare and Beachcare are organised by Keep Britain Tidy and have local groups active in this area, please check their website for details .
Litteraction is a national campaign which has 100s of volunteer groups set up for people, please visit their website for more details.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has set up an initiative to Make Southend Sparkle by supporting local residents, groups, and businesses who wish to enhance the area where they live or work, to make it a greener and cleaner place for more information please visit our Make Southend Sparkle pages. A Facebook page for Make Southend Sparkle will keep people informed on how they can help, and provide an opportunity to share good news stories about how residents have helped enhance the area.