A team working on London’s super sewer have been combining their love of running and the environment to help clean up the area around their site.
Tideway staff working at the Earl Pumping Station site in Deptford have taken up ‘plogging’ - a combination of the Swedish word ‘plocka’, meaning ‘to pick’, and ‘jogging’. Ploggers pick up litter while they run, helping to improve the environment at the same time as improving their physical fitness.
The group, which was started by Audric Rivaud, a Site Agent at Earl Pumping Station, has now grown to 10 people who have run a total of 12km over three runs, filling 16 black bags with rubbish from the neighbourhood.
Audric said: “I have always been frustrated to see so much rubbish in the streets and even more in the countryside in the UK and back home in France. I have done my own, one-off litter picking before but have always wanted to get more involved. I discovered plogging on a TV documentary last year and I thought that it was a great way to get people, including myself, introduced to litter picking on a larger scale.
“Working on Tideway also made it easy to organise the sessions as everyone on the project is really passionate about health and wellbeing, the environment and community engagement. It also makes sense to try to pick up the litter before it ends up in the river, as our ultimate goal at Tideway is to clean up the River Thames."
The response has been so positive that the team are now running bi-weekly plogs, an idea which originated in Sweden and is now sweeping through London.
Earl Pumping Station is one of 24 sites for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a new, 25km ‘super sewer’ to help tackle the tens of millions of tonnes of raw sewage pouring into the river each year. Work is currently underway on the site to create a shaft that will join the existing pumping station to the under-construction Thames Tideway Tunnel.