Litter picking is working – but people are still dropping rubbish.

Volunteers who gathered for Alton’s autumn litter pick on September 30 had to first contend with cleaning up the mess left on and around the picnic tables on the green next to the Assembly Rooms.

“It felt like a bad sign,” said Kat Guenioui, co-chair of the Guild of Optimists who organised the litter pick together with The Alton Society. “People had clearly stopped to eat a takeaway and decided they didn’t need to clean up after themselves. Fortunately, many of the up to 60 people who went off into town to collect litter found it cleaner than usual.”

“I’d say that’s thanks to all the groups in town who pick regularly,” said Bob Booker, a fellow organiser and litter pick stalwart. “It would be nice to think people aren’t dropping litter as much but groups like ACAN and the Alton Ambassadors would tell a different story – they’re just keeping on top of the problem much better.

“It’s a shame that the need still exists when we all know how badly littering affects our environment and wildlife.”

Though it seemed like it was not a very nice job, the volunteers all came back smiling, having had a good time cleaning up the town with old friends and new.

It helped that Trish Delaney from popular Alton café Dill provided a beautiful lemon drizzle cake to thank everyone for their hard work.

The next Alton Society/Guild of Optimists litter pick will take place in the spring, with dates to be confirmed soon.

In the meantime, anyone interested in helping to clean up the town can join the Alton litter picks group on Facebook for details of upcoming dates.