Keeping Chelmsford Clean

Chelmsford is naturally beautiful. We’re lucky to have plenty of well kept parks throughout the borough and to be surrounded by beautiful Essex countryside, with rivers running through it all. Unfortunately, some individuals take this for granted and so our natural spaces get filled with litter pollution.

Litter hurts wildlife, it’s ugly and unhealthy, and it costs Chelmsford taxpayers thousands of pounds to remove each year. That’s money that could be spent on helping families who are threatened with homelessness or helping local small businesses. Keeping Chelmsford’s environment clean and tidy is a community effort, while the council sweeps the streets and empties bins, it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep our surroundings clean and litter-free. Litter that causes a problem in Chelmsford includes:

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  • Small pieces of chewing gum stuck on pavements
  • Cigarette butts thrown into storm drains
  • Bags of fast-food waste being thrown out of cars
  • Plastic bottles and cans being dropped or left in communal green spaces
  • And fly tipping… which carries a hefty penalty for convictions

The good news is research shows that people are less likely to behave antisocially, drop litter and even commit crime when their surroundings are well kept, this is why we work hard to not only maintain but improve the quality of our natural green spaces. There’s plenty of ways you can help out, you don’t have to live here – you might work in the city, go to a school in Chelmsford or just visit the city a lot.

reducing plastic waste
Why is litter a problem?

Two rivers run through the heart of our city: the Chelmer and the Can. They’re home to all kinds of wildlife and plants, plus they keep areas like Central Park green and lush. Keeping the rivers free of rubbish can be a challenge. Litter, supermarket trolleys, bicycles and even mannikins have been found polluting the riverbed! That’s why Love Your Chelmsford organises River Clean-Ups twice a year, you can find out when the next session is by checking our events page or following us on Facebook or Instagram.

Help us keep our rivers clean

Community litterpick events are a great excuse for some fresh air, exercise and to earn that ‘feel good feeling’ by volunteering in Chelmsford. Chelmsford City Council holds plenty of litterpicks at the request of residents, but they aren’t the only litterpicking events. Parish councils, scout groups and the Co-Operative are just some of the helping hands who organise litter picks across the area. You can see if any litter picks are coming up on the Events page.

Join our community events!

If community litterpick events are not for you, but you want to pick up any pesky rubbish you see on your daily walk or carry out your own litterpick for an afternoon, you can loan litter picking equipment from the city council for up to 14 days at a time for free. This is a popular option for dog walkers and families who enjoy walking at weekends. Please click here to find out more.

Free litter picking equipment loans

Street art is a wonderful way to engage with the community and help to make public walkways more attractive and feel safer. There are many underpasses within the Borough that used to be dark and full of unpleasant graffiti.

Schoolchildren and adult community groups have inspired us to brighten up the underpasses with something a bit nicer: stunning, bright-coloured artwork! You can see a lovely example of this work, featuring some favourite Chelmsford landmarks, on the underpass entrance into Central Park. If you know of a place that you think could do with some street art, or if you’re an artist looking for a project, please contact us.

Decorating the streets of Chelmsford

Every year Chelmsford City Council offers every parish in the borough a ‘Love Your Parish Day’ in which the council’s street care team will spend a full day completing a ‘to-do list’ provided by the local parish council to improve the general environmental quality of an area. This includes tasks like; litter picking, footpath sweeping, road sweeping, removal of vegetation/weeds and graffiti removal.

For any parishes hoping to book a Love Your Parish Day, the Love Your Chelmsford team send out emails to all parish clerks in February/March each year. The email offers the chance to book a day and specify what work is needed within your parish.

Love Your Parish Days

Chelmsford City Council does its best to monitor all areas of the borough for any waste or pollution issues, however the more eyes we have watching our natural environment the better. This is why we ask residents to report any public area or street related problems they notice via this link.

If you notice any issues, whether it be fly tipping, graffiti or litter please submit a report and our dedicated team will ensure the issue is resolved.

All littering offences, big or small can equal a fixed penalty fine. For example, littering personal waste in a public place, like dropping a crisp packet or plastic bottle in a park is a £150 fine there and then. Click here to find out more.

Report a street problem