Litterscapes and Transformative Services

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Narratives of ‘The New Brighteners’, a litter picking collective in New Brighton, a coastal town in England, UK are intended to provide further insights into the complexities of communities of practice regarding litter picking waste management and related transformative services. Such communities would benefit more support and ongoing efficacy as they take the reins of waste management and aspects of creative services marketing regarding the places they live, work and visit. Acts of transformative services and the advent of related service/place making processes lead to novel approaches for the health and wellbeing of people and place. Guiding questions of this qualitative Transformative Service Research focuses on perceptions of strengths, priorities and opportunities of The New Brighteners and their honourable and good works linking both service and place. Perceptions from a range of participants are analysed via text mining software, which offer other communities and stakeholders shared perceptions and generalisable insights for the good of improving their own services. Such volunteering communities have become unexpected stewards to creating cleaner, litter-free places, and as proactive service providers to host communities and for visitors, alongside sectors they complement regarding waste management, including public, private, and other voluntary organisations.

Exploratory studies into transformative services and place making leading to cleaner, litter-free places are important for our global communities’ intentions and goals for sustainable and responsible development. Perceptions and practice in this study are informed by lived experiences of a litter-picking community and represents a range of experiences and choices to manage litter whilst at the same time providing a range of knowledge and practice exchange opportunities for each other and those who encounter them, especially formal waste management organisations, local authorities, and destination marketing organisations. These studies inform strategic decision making and management of services regarding litter and related waste management challenges.

Future studies could strengthen debate and action regarding the efficacy of similar communities of practice which transcend just picking litter, in other words transformative service provision. The research supports potential to support such honourable approaches to transformative service and place making. Outcomes can inform public and private waste management and health and wellbeing policies whilst generating awareness for a broader audience who should be involved in the challenges highlighted by this study.

Such communities of practice regarding litter picking have not been explored in the Transformative Service Research context. Therefore, this study critically explores previously unknown dimensions of such a group as ‘The New Brighteners’ and how they contribute to service ecosystems and an important dimension and nexus of theory and practice in these influential schools of thought and practice for individual and societal health and wellbeing.

Managers can make better use of narratives of such communities, for more informed approaches to transformative service, place management and marketing, and associated service innovation, design and development. A key contribution of this study is the nexus of Transformative Service Research and place making, implications of such important work often initially overlooked by key stakeholders and investors from public and private sectors across service ecosystems.
PeriodJun 2022
Event typeConference
Conference number12
LocationGlasgow, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Transformative service
  • Waste management
  • Sustainability
  • Place making
  • Service ecosystems