Northampton woman who picked 47 bags of litter in seven days for challenge 'disgusted' by growing issue

Michelle clocked up more than 100,000 steps over the course of the week

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 7:45 am

A Northampton woman filled 47 bags with litter she picked around the town in just seven days.

Michelle Blackler, who is part of litter picking group Northamptonshire Litter Wombles, decided to complete a sponsored litter pick for two charities close to her heart.

The 48-year-old spent around 30 hours litter picking during her seven day challenge.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Michelle dedicated 30 hours to litter picking during the course of a week.

During those hours, she clocked up 106,000 steps and filled 47 sacks full of litter in areas around Moulton, Kingsthorpe and Kingsley.

As part of the mammoth litter pick, Michelle raised money for Cafe Track in Market Square, as she has a son who has autism who has benefited from the cafe's services, and Street Haven Animal Sanctuary.

Michelle said: “I am passionate about these three things, so I thought I would do something where I could raise money and do something that’s important in the world right now.

“In the mornings I would run three to five kilometers around routes I knew the Wombles had already cleared, but I’d get two carrier bags full each day.

Michelle collected 47 bags during her week-long challenge.

“And then I would go litter picking elsewhere for three to four hours every afternoon. I would fill four to six sacks a day.”

The passionate environmentalist was shocked by the sheer amount of litter she picked during her week-long challenge.

Michelle says littering seems to be ‘going crazy’ at the moment and is urging people to think about what they are doing.

She added: “It’s all from throwing rubbish out of car windows. It’s disgusting.

The dedicated litter picker even collected on her morning runs.

“People need to be aware of how much litter is being left.

“We are going to have to take more care of this environment, otherwise we will all live in one big fly-tip.

“If the Wombles were not doing their job we would just be surrounded by litter.

“We need to look after our planet; we need to take our litter home, we need to take more responsibility.

Michelle's son, Liam Playford, 23, works at Cafe Track.

“Tips need to be more flexible with what they take, the council needs to empty our bins more and we need more CCTV in fly-tipping hotspots.

“If I had three wishes, one of them would be for people to love where they live and take care of it.”

So far Michelle has raised more than £1,500, which will be split equally between her two chosen charities.

“My son has been massively helped by Cafe Track,” Michelle continued.

“They are really trying to help build his confidence and promote him to a company.

“But the cafe has struggled financially throughout the lockdowns.

“I am also really passionate about stopping animal cruelty.”

Michelle is still taking donations for her sponsored litter pick. Her JustGiving page can be found here.