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September 11, 2013

Ali cleans up

A couple of months ago, Local People Leading highlighted the national campaign to Clean Up Scotland and its plan to involve a million Scots in helping to rid the country of litter.  Given the extent of the problem this is a hugely ambitious target which will need to mobilise community action on an unprecedented scale if it to succeed. Encouragingly, there’s already a lot of grass root activity taking place which tackles the scourge of litter head on. No more so than Ali – an award winning Aberdeenshire project.


The Aberdeenshire Litter Initiative (Ali) was established in June 2007. This scheme encourages individuals, groups and business within Aberdeenshire to ‘adopt a street’ or area of public open space and to keep it clear of litter. To aid in this, we supply volunteers with safety guidance, a litter picking stick and a Hi Viz vest. 

In the 2011 Scottish Waste and Resources (SWRC) awards, our own George Niblock was nominated and Won the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution – The Peoples Choice’ in recognition of his efforts during 2011 in waste management including work with ALi, which in his own words “makes me the biggest ‘waster’ in Scotland for the year!”


Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum are delighted to announce that Provost Jill Webster of Aberdeenshire Council has signed up as the 500th member of the award winning Aberdeenshire Litter Initiative – ALi This coincides with the fifth anniversary of the project which was launched in June 2007 by Provost Howatson of Aberdeenshire who was the very first volunteer litter picker signed up.

George Niblock, Project Coordinator said: “We are particularly pleased to welcome Provost Webster as our 500th volunteer member of the ALi as it serves to highlight the strong and continuing relationship that the project has with Aberdeenshire Council.”

The ALi Project is understood to be the largest volunteer Litter picking scheme in the United Kingdom. It is based on the ‘Adopt-a-Street’ concept common in North America. ALi operates in a more informal way where it acts to encourage and support individual volunteers and groups within the community, to adopt an area of their own choosing to keep it clear of litter at a frequency that suits them. It does not seek to replace the street cleansing work of the Council but to enhance it.

Nominated to the Scottish Green List 2010, a finalist in the Community Projects section at the Scottish Waste Industry Awards 2011, ALi has been successful in winning the Gold Award for Environmental Best Practice in the Scottish Green Apple Awards 2012.

AEF’s ALi scheme was commended as a finalist in the 2010 Scottish Waste and Resources awards for the community sector.

We were also nominated for the 2011 Scottish Green List, and were mentioned by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet secretary for the Environment, as a good example of a Community based environmental initiative.

The ALi initiative has the support of Aberdeenshire Council, Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB), and a number of local organizations and business. It is seeking funding from any source – public, private or business – with an initial target of kitting out at least 1000 volunteers. We believe that there are already thousands of public spirited people who pick up litter in an unsung way.

ALi is now going strong in a number of Communities across Aberdeenshire with a smattering across the rural areas. We are active in attempting to identify other groups and individuals to encourage, support and enable then to ‘do their bit’ for the local environment. We are working closely with the Community Planning staff of the Council to reach out to other groups and organizations.