The selfless Salford citizens on a mission to #CleanUpTheQuays

A councillor spearheading a drive to clean up Salford Quays has drawn dozens of volunteers to community litter pick events. 

Tons of rubbish – including discarded fridges and even a boat – have been collected at almost 20 litter pick events, attended by as many as 50 people, since #CleanUpTheQuays was launched in 2020.

Quays Liberal Democrat Councillor, Alex Warren, began the clean-up effort alone after getting fed up of the amount of litter in the area. 

He then enlisted a friend to help and sent out street letters to get the local community involved to join him and coined the campaign #CleanUpTheQuays. 

Coun Warren said: “There wasn’t really much in the way of people sorting things out locally, and now there’s people who are actively dealing with plastic pollution. 

“Whether it’s contacting me and the other Liberal Democrats to get it sorted or actually going out and doing it themselves or joining us on the litter picks. So, there’s a real community attitude to sorting out the area. It’s now a real narrative and a conversation.”

Councillor Alex Warren (right) and volunteers at a litter pick event in Salford Quays 

While most attendees are proactive local residents, the clean-up events have also been attended by United Utilities, Mersey Rivers Trust, Salford Litter Heroes and Salford Hongkongers. 

“We’ve cleaned up metric tons of stuff out of the ship canal – e cigs, knives, heroin needles, industrial waste like insulation from building sites, road barricades, troll dolls, fridges, bollards and a boat. Everything you can think of, we’ve found!” said coun Warren 

The cleaner Quays is not only for the area’s inhabitants but for the benefit of the wildlife as coun Warren said “I’ve seen juvenile swans eating polystyrene. I saw one choking on a condom once which was pretty rough.” 

Litter is a major cause of bird injury and plastic pollution often fatal for birds as it can result in them being unable to feed, swim or fly and at risk of starvation, drowning and attack.

He added that the clean up effort is “not just for people, but it’s for nature too”. 

On the future of the campaign he said: “We’ve created a bit of a legacy framework for doing green stuff and working on green issues in our community. I think that’s going to be the lasting the impression of CleanUpTheQuays and I hope it carries on.” 

Mr Warren said that 10 people can fill 30 bags of litter in just two hours and wants to encourage more volunteers to get involved by attending an event. 

The next #CleanUpTheQuays clean up event is on Sunday 12th November at 11am and the meeting place is outside Co-Op Ordsall Lane. 

For the latest information search #CleanUpTheQuays on X or join the Facebook Group: Friends of Salford Quays Community Gardens #CleanUpTheQuays. 

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