The couple on a mission to clean up their neighbourhood

‘Leith could be the loveliest part of Edinburgh’ reads the opening line on the Leithers Don’t Litter website. And it’s true, it really could be – and if Zsuzsa and Gerry Farrell have their way, it absolutely will be.

Zsuzsa and Gerry, got so tired of the amount of litter blighting their hometown that they decided to take direct action to tackle the problem. After realising that moaning about the problem wasn’t going to fix it, they set out on a mission to clean up their neighbourhood and make it famous for being a litter-free zone.

In 2015, they founded Leithers Don’t Litter, a group of local volunteers that meet regularly to clear everything from discarded plastic bottles to abandoned shopping trolleys.

Making a difference together

The group believes that by working together positive change can be achieved. Members of the public are encouraged to photograph and report incidents of overflowing bins, areas spoiled by heavy littering, and incidents of fly tipping to the council (if they don’t know about it, they can’t do anything about it!), or to tackle the problem of litter themselves, starting with their own streets and neighbourhoods – just as Zsuzsa and Gerry did.

The couple currently go out two or three times a week and pick up litter in their street, and encourage people to do the same with their Adopt-A-Street programme, where locals can pledge to keep their own street tidy. Those who join get free litterpickers and gloves from the local council.

As well as encouraging the local community to get involved, the group also rovide suggestions on how people can make a difference, as well as advice for parents, takeaway shop owners and dog walkers on how to tackle the problem.

They also organise bigger community clean ups (the latest in in September 2017 at Marine Esplanade resulted in a staggering 4-5tons of rubbish being collected), as well as one-hour litterpicks around The Shore during the tourist season. The group also ran a two-month educational programme with Leith Academy, which ended in 300 school kids collecting a 100 bags of litter.

For more information or to get involved visit: