St Albans family are the scourge of the litterbugs

Artemis (4), Jessica and Monty (6) Chivers with some litter they collected in only 15 minutes from a

Artemis (4), Jessica and Monty (6) Chivers with some litter they collected in only 15 minutes from a nearby road - Credit: Archant

A litter-fighting family have declared war on rubbish and are encouraging residents to get involved in a big clean-up.

Jessica Chivers, her husband Nick and two “little ninjas” Monty, six, and Artemis, four, venture out fortnightly to rid the roads of refuse and keep track of the worst black-spots in the city.

Rubber gloves and plastic bags to clear the country of waste have been a firm fixture in the family home since Jessica and her spouse moved to St Albans ten years ago.

The mother of two said: “My husband and I are passionate about keeping Britain tidy. As frequent runners we often spot litter black spots, as I did when running at 6am yesterday, and then follow-up them up at weekends armed with gloves and bin bags.”

The psychologist said she would love people to take more pride in St Albans and wants to change people’s litterbug attitudes: “We need to make littering as uncool as smoking.”

Jessica explained that one of her last big finds was outside McDonald’s in Griffiths Way, a company which apparently has a policy to sweep around the store three times a day and to collect any rubbish within 150 metres.

She collected what she could and took the rubbish into the fast-food outlet to show them what they had missed and explained that they needed to do something to educate customers about littering.

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The inspirational author, 34, is clear about what is needed to combat the problem: “We need people to be a bit more responsible.

“I thank people when I see them being responsible, it makes a difference.

“The point I want to make is for people to get out there and do it. Go out and litter pick; you’ll feel good doing it!

“When people notice you doing it [litter picking] you encourage other people to think it’s not universal.”

The family’s litter mission is a full-time affair and they are often out and about piling bottles into bags during the winter months despite the cold but this does not put them off: “It’s a reason to go out! We’re happy that we’re out there doing something; we just wish that people didn’t do it.”

She explained at this time of year the amount of litter was disguised because of the plush greenery in the district and that during the winter it was much worse.

Jessica is encouraging residents to do all they can to eradicate waste, whether its writing to the council for more bins, reprimanding people for dropping trash or just going out and getting your hands dirty.

“Every single positive action you take adds up. It’s amazing how quickly we could have a very clean St Albans.

“Anybody can make a difference in this way. Not everyone can write in the most eloquent way or campaign for things, but everyone can bend down and pick up a bit of litter.”