Glastonbury clean-up crew includes 2,500-person recycling team

It's a major operation to de-litter the Somerset dairy farm after 200,000 people attended the festival

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A major clean-up operation has begun at Glastonbury Festival to return the site from a pop-up city of 200,000 people back to a Somerset dairy farm.

Volunteers began shifting rubbish strewn across the 324-hectare site as revellers began to make their way home following headline performances by Billie Eilish, Sir Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar.

They began picking up thousands of discarded items including paper cups and food containers.

The clean-up crew tackled overflowing bins with waste and big items such as camping chairs, blow-up mattresses, slippers, flip-flops and shopping bags needing to be disposed of.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the best photos from Glastonbury 2022

“I’ve been litter picking every day for hours. In the whole recycling team, there are 2,500 of us and I’ve done it 10 years on the trot," said volunteer Sean Kelly, 32.

“It’s very similar to 2019 because it is dry; it is a lot easier to pick when it is dry.

“As a rule, everything is pretty much done early this year. There’s been a huge reduction in gas canisters this year, but there’s been a lot of vape bars and they are the only things you can’t recycle.

“Most things get recycled here.”

Campers packed up their belongings and left in a steady stream from the Somerset site on Monday morning as the rain descended following a festival that had defied ominous forecasts of thunderstorms and a yellow weather warning from the Met Office.

Highlights from the festival’s special 50th year include history-making headline sets from Sir Paul and Eilish as well as Lamar’s dramatic demonstration for female rights.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the gates open to Glastonbury for the first time in three years

Meanwhile, Diana Ross reeled off hit after hit when she took to the stage for the Sunday teatime legends slot.

The soul singer treated the crowd to a selection of classics including I’m Coming Out, Baby Love, You Can’t Hurry Love, Stop! In The Name Of Love and at the conclusion of Chain Reaction, pink confetti was launched from the stage.

Another standout moment was Sir Paul’s Saturday headline show, where he wowed the crowds with a show-stopping set list which included surprise guest appearances from Bruce Springsteen and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.

As he took to the Pyramid Stage, the former Beatle became the festival’s oldest solo headliner, a week after he celebrated his 80th birthday.

During his more-than-two-hour set, he played a range of classic songs including Hey Jude, Blackbird, Live And Let Die, Ob-La-Di, Ob‐La‐Da and Get Back.

The electrifying show was further amplified as he introduced Grohl to the stage to sing I Saw Her Standing There and Band On The Run, marking Grohl’s first public performance since the death of his Foo Fighters bandmate, drummer Taylor Hawkins.

Springsteen later joined Sir Paul for Glory Days and I Wanna Be Your Man.

As part of the encore, through special technology, which could isolate John Lennon’s vocals from old recordings, Sir Paul was able to duet The Beatles’ track I’ve Got A Feeling alongside his former bandmate on the Pyramid Stage.

On Friday, US singer Eilish performed on the Pyramid Stage, becoming Glastonbury’s youngest ever solo headliner.

Scroll through the gallery below to see images of Billie Eilish and Kalush Orchestra performing

The festival featured countless other memorable moments including Greta Thunberg delivering a passionate speech from the Pyramid Stage, calling on society to take on its “historic responsibility to set things right” with the global climate crisis.

It also hosted an array of Ukrainian representatives, with the country’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy giving a poignant address via a video message and the Kalush Orchestra playing their first UK performance since they triumphed at Eurovision 2022.

While heading to the festival, many artists and festivalgoers had to battle travel chaos as major rail strikes took place during the event and many flights were delayed or cancelled.

However, these issues did not dampen everyone’s spirits and nor could the infamous Glastonbury showers, as the weather remained relatively dry in comparison to previous years.

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Updated: June 27, 2022, 11:11 AM