GREENFORD’S top grime-fighting duo are celebrating a personal milestone after collecting their 2,000th sack of rubbish.

It’s a year since Gayle Labib and Noel I St Clair-Adelaja started cleaning the area's streets and parks.

Among their many achievements is transforming a rubbish hotspot into a garden.

Gayle says litter picking gave a new purpose to her exercise regime. "Instead of walking aimlessly around the park to get in my daily 10,000 steps, I decided to do something,” she added. 

“I joined LAGER Can (Litter Action Group for Ealing Residents).  Walking and litter picking made me feel as if I was doing something productive while keeping fit."

When neighbour Noel offered to help in October 2021, the team was born.  

"At first we found it hard because the bags were so heavy," said Gayle. "We were two OAPs with sore backs!"

To lighten their load, they trundle their sacks along on a fly-tipped pram and a trolley provided by LAGER Can. 

They log their daily haul of rubbish and, after filling every 100th sack, reward themselves with tea and cake at a cafe.

"We do three routes a week around North Greenford," said Gayle. "We’re out on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday for at least three hours. Sometimes we will add days if we’re alerted to litter in a different area.

"The area around Rockware Avenue was a nightmare and a complete disgrace and needed some serious work to make it presentable. It was the eyesore of Greenford.

"One area at the entrance to Greenford Business Centre is a meeting place for drinkers who throw their bottles and cans everywhere.

“We asked the manager if we could plant flowers at the entrance. In March, we started digging it up, finding cans dating back to 2013.  We used old tyres as planters.  So our garden was born!"

Gayle, a mother-of-four, says the garden has won praise from passers-by and reduced litter.

“I would say there is now a 99% reduction in litter," she added. "We’ve recycled a dumped kitchen bin and most of the drinkers are now using it for their bottles and cans."

In another success, the pair have installed a fly-tipped rubbish bin in Cayton Green Park.

LAGER Can chair Cathy Swift said: "If every local area was blessed with such a dynamic duo, the borough would be a cleaner and greener place."

LAGER Can, which started five years ago, now has more than 2,000 members.  Their work has been recognised with a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.