Recommended equipment for picking up trash outdoors


Picking up litter in your community is a great way to spend a day. It gets you out in the open air, allows you to meet new people, and best of all it makes you feel great knowing you’ve worked hard to make your local area that little bit nicer.

But don’t go empty handed! There are a few bits of equipment you’ll want to take with you, to ensure you’re a lean, green, litter picking machine!

We’ve done our research and would like to share with you our top picks for equipment to take with you on your next litter pick.

1. A reaching aid

The RMS 32″ extra long grabber reacher

The main reason you should be using a reaching aid instead of using your hands to pick up litter is that you could be picking up some fairly disgusting things – condoms, food containers, diapers, etc. A reaching aid allows you to bag these items without ever coming into contact with them, meaning you’re not picking up potentially harmful germs.

The other reason why a reaching aid is recommended is that repeatedly bending down to pick up litter the ground is not good for your back!

Our recommended reaching aid is the ‘RMS 32″ Extra Long Grabber’, sold on Amazon.

Key features:

  • Head rotates 90 degrees, to reach from any angle
  • Ergonomic handle for comfortable grip
  • The flexible tip allows you to pick up even very small items
  • Comes in 4 colors

The reviews on Amazon for the RMS 32″ are extremely positive, with many people praising the rotating head, comfortable grip, and its ability to pick up small items.

Check the latest price on Amazon.

2. A high visibility vest

JKSafety high visibility

If you’re going to be picking up trash near roads, or at night, then we highly recommended you wear a high-vis safety vest.

We love this JKSafety high visibility vest on Amazon.

Key features:

  • 360° reflectivity – be seen from any angle
  • 9 pockets – enough room for a cell phone, flashlight, or laser pointer
  • Machine washable
  • Comes in a choice of 4 colors

Check the latest price on Amazon.

3. Heavy duty garbage bags

Plasticplace 95-96 Gallon Garbage Bags

When it comes to picking up trash outside, regular kitchen garbage bags just won’t cut it. They will burst, tear, and fill up quickly.

We recommend opting for heavy-duty garbage bags instead, like these Plasticplace 95-96 Gallon Garbage Bags.

Key features:

  • 1.5mm thick – Strong enough to tolerate all residential household garbage and commercial waste
  • Comes in roll of 25 or 50
  • Extra large size – 96 gallons will mean you can keep going for longer without having to change bags

Check the latest price on Amazon.

4. Waterproof gloves

Showa Atlas 460 Vinyl gloves

Gloves are essential when picking up litter outdoors. And we highly recommend you use waterproof gloves – you don’t want dirty garbage water seeping through your gloves and onto your hands! And if you live in a cold climate, you’ll want gloves that can keep your hands warm.

That’s why we recommend the Showa Atlas 460 Vinyl gloves.

Key features:

  • Double dipped oil resistant PVC
  • Comfortable and flexible
  • Resists oil, solvents and chemicals

These gloves are very positively reviewed on Amazon, with people singling out their durability, comfort, and ability to protect against the cold.

Check the latest price on Amazon.

5. Safety Boots

Left: Ever Boots | Right: Wolverine Piper Waterproof

This one is optional and may depend on the circumstances of your litter picking expedition. If you are going to be picking up heavier items, such as metal or wood, you may want to invest in a pair of safety boots. Toe and foot injuries can be debilitating, so if you are in any doubt, don’t take the risk.

For men:

We recommend ‘Ever Boots’, available from Amazon.

Key features:

  • Leather
  • Rubber sole
  • Steel toe cap

The Amazon reviews for these boots are overwhelmingly positive, with many people saying they are extremely hard-wearing, comfortable and lightweight.

Check the latest price on Amazon. 

For women:

If you’re looking for something a bit more feminine, we recommend the ‘Wolverine Piper Waterproof’, which also have steel toe caps and are very positively reviewed on Amazon.

Check the latest prices on Amazon.

Thermal Underwear

If you’re going to be picking up trash in the cold weather, do yourself a favor and invest in some thermal underwear. You’d be amazed at how effective they are at keeping you warm.

For men:

We recommend the ‘LAPASA Men’s Heavyweight Thermal Underwear’ from Amazon.

Key features:

  • Suitable for extreme cold and frigid temperatures
  • Inner fleece maintains body temperature
  • Elastic fabric makes it comfortable and flexible

Check the latest price on Amazon.

For women:

For ladies, we recommend the ‘Ekouaer Women’s Thermal Underwear’, also available from Amazon.

Check the latest price on Amazon.