Reading Adopt Your Street (RAYS)

The Reading Adopt Your Street (RAYS) programme enables companies, individuals, community groups and organisations, such as schools and youth groups to select a street, open space, footpath, park or shopping area to keep tidy through regular clean-ups.


You can help keep the Borough clean and tidy by looking after your street or local area. RAYS Volunteers are provided with litter pickers, 100% recycled plastic bags, gloves and hi-vis jackets.

Our street cleansing teams will keep working hard to keep Reading clean.

Become a RAYS Community Volunteer

You choose the area you want to adopt and when you want to do it. Get your friends, family and neighbours involved and make your street or local area one to be proud of!

Become a RAYS+ Volunteer

An option for individuals or groups who want to take their RAYS commitment one step further. RAYS+ volunteers are invited to sign up to a volunteer charter and to commit to a minimum group of 6 volunteers and/or carry out a minimum number of litter picks (at least 5) over a year to qualify. RAYS+ offers larger bags and more support for rubbish collection.

Become a RAYS Business Team Volunteer

Get your work colleagues together and get involved in making your local area one to be proud of! You choose the area you want to adopt and when you want to do it.

Become a RAYS School Team Volunteer

You choose the area you want to adopt and when you want to do it. Link RAYS volunteering with your curriculum topics and help your pupils make your local area one to be proud of!

Love Reading – Join RAYS!

Sign up today and help make a difference – Everyone welcome.

Apply to be a RAYS volunteer

Contact us today 0118 937 3787 or email

As a RAYS Volunteer/ Volunteer Team you agree to:

  • Adopt and keep clear of litter an agreed area on average once a month, keeping a tally of bags of litter and recycling you collect, the number of people involved and the time you spend collecting, the number of clean-ups you completed and a note of anything that was reported, this information should be supplied to the Council monthly.
  • Read and adhere to guidance on the RAYS Risk Assessment document.
  • Ensure that appropriate tools and equipment are used during clean-up and avoid direct contact with items that have the potential to be hazardous or injurious. Items such as syringes, condoms and animal parts should not be touched. Hazardous litter and exceptionally heavy or unyielding objects shall be reported to your RAYS Coordinator. The protective equipment we supply must be worn at all times.
  • Any litter you collect should be disposed of in street bins or in your grey bin and recycling in either bottle banks or in your red bins as appropriate.
  • Report to your RAYS Coordinator any injury incurred by any participant during clean-up activities. The injury will be reported within two working days of the incident and shall include:
    • The name of the injured person
    • The time and date of the incident
    • The nature of the injury
    • Details of the incident
    • Name of hospital/surgery attended

As a RAYS Volunteer/Volunteer you agree to:

As a RAYS+ Volunteer / Volunteer Team, you agree to sign up to at least 5 litter picks a year. You agree to notify your RAYS+ Coordinator of your litter pick before the event and report to the Council any substantial litter in need of collection. This can be completed using the Love Clean Reading website / App and by selecting the RAYS+ reporting option:

We would encourage you to share photos from your litter picks with your RAYS Coordinator.

Reading Borough Council agrees to:

  • Supply litter picking equipment – hi-vis vest, 100% recycled plastic litter bags, gloves and litter pickers.
  • Provide third party liability insurance for any injury and property damage arising out of the activities of this programme as long as the guidelines in the Safe Guide to Litter Picking has been followed.
  • Replace any damaged or worn equipment and provide additional bags as required, where reasonable care has been taken to look after the kit(s).
  • Collect litter picking equipment – safety vests, 100% recycled plastic litter bags, gloves and litter pickers, either at the end of the RAYS project or as agreed with the volunteer if their circumstances change and their participation in RAYS or Rays+ ends earlier.
  • Collect larger scale litter collected by RAYS+ Volunteers.
  • Keep your personal data safe and not share it with anyone outside of the RAYS team.

RAYS safe guide to litter picking

  • Review the clean-up route/location. Take note of any areas of concern or potential danger, such as high traffic areas or locations where there is limited vision of approaching traffic.
  • Supervise minors. Ensure there is a responsible adult present to supervise minors.
  • Check equipment. Make sure you have all the required tools and equipment to complete the task safely and efficiently and that it is in good working order.
  • Watch for cars and other vehicles, drivers may not expect to see volunteers
  • working, obey all traffic regulations including signal and traffic lights, use pedestrian crossings and footpaths. Work on one side of the street at a time facing on-coming traffic.
  • Handle litter carefully: Volunteers MUST NOT handle hazardous litter. Objects such as car batteries, broken glass, needles, human/animal waste or chemicals should be reported to the Council.
  • If possible, work in pairs and always look out for each other.
  • Keep a mobile phone handy or know where the nearest phone is located.
  • Clothing: Always wear a safety vest and gloves, wear suitable footwear – no open toes, dress according to the weather, do not use headphones.
  • Remember: Avoid horseplay, no drink or drugs and take an adequate supply of water.
  • Where possible avoid slippery slopes and leaning over bodies of water.
  • Record your activities, number of bags collected & people involved, dates of the collections and include any problems and/or report items

Love Your Park

This anti-littering campaign aims to encourage people to put litter in the park bins or take it home – and will promote three quick ways to report full bins for emptying.

Last updated on 30/03/2022