Ipswich man picks up litter for 24 hours non-stop in incredible marathon

Jason Alexander collecting litter in the middle of the night during his Suffolk Clean Sweep challenge

Jason Alexander collecting litter in the middle of the night during his Suffolk Clean Sweep challenge - Credit: Jason Alexander

A dedicated litter-picker spent an incredible non-stop 24 hours collecting rubbish in Ipswich - in a herculean effort to keep our streets clean.

Rubbish Walks founder Jason Alexander went above and beyond to give his home town a summer clean by picking up plastic wrappers, cans, PPE, cigarette butts and more as part of Suffolk's Clean Sweep.

Jason Alexander pictured as the sun rose over the Orwell Bridge at about 4am

Jason Alexander pictured as the sun rose over the Orwell Bridge at about 4am - Credit: Jason Alexander

The campaign encouraged people to help keep their neighbourhoods tidy by organising or taking part in litter-picks this weekend.

Communities eagerly rallied round, with the numerous Wombles litter-picking groups arranging several events and organisations like the Ipswich Orwell Rotary Club cleaning St Clements church, in Fore Street.

Jason Alexander was supported by volunteers throughout his 24-hour litter picking marathon

Jason Alexander was supported by volunteers throughout his 24-hour litter picking marathon - Credit: Jason Alexander

But Mr Alexander, who has helped to set up many of the town's Wombles groups, led the way with his incredible effort - even if constantly walking for 24 hours, litter-picker in hand, left him with some very sore knees.

The toughest period was during the early hours, with Mr Alexander ploughing on while everyone else was tucked up in bed.

Jason Alexander with the Whitton and Whitehouse Wombles during his 24-hour litter-pick

Jason Alexander with the Whitton and Whitehouse Wombles during his 24-hour litter-pick - Credit: Jason Alexander

It was hard work throughout - he filled a builder's bucket with about 9,000 cigarette ends, collected about 50 bags of rubbish and "lost count" of the number of face masks he found.

But he had some amazing support, with volunteers joining him for parts of his night shift to ensure he was not alone.

Jason Alexander with the Chantry Wombles during the Suffolk Clean Sweep weekend

Jason Alexander with the Chantry Wombles during the Suffolk Clean Sweep weekend - Credit: Jason Alexander

Most Read

"I broke it down into two-hour blocks and having volunteers come along to join me really helped," he said as he finished his marathon effort at Ipswich's Cornhill at noon.

"I'm usually very lucky with my health, but after about 20 hours I felt like an old man.

Jason Alexander collected about 50 bags of rubbish during his 24-hour marathon

Jason Alexander collected about 50 bags of rubbish during his 24-hour marathon - Credit: Jason Alexander

"However, getting a balance between the streets and the urban environment and wooded areas helped to make it a lot more bearable."

Despite his amazing dedication, Mr Alexander said: "The key thing to remember is that you don't have to spend 24 hours picking up litter.

Jason Alexander is encouraging others to pick up litter

Jason Alexander is encouraging others to pick up litter - Credit: Jason Alexander

"You can just do five minutes - but the key thing is that you actually do something. 

"We can all talk the talk, but can we walk the walk? Walk the walk to the bin is the key thing."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter