But one Sheffield schoolboy, who is on a one-child mission to tidy up the streets around his home, is doing his bit to disprove that lazy stereotype.
Luca Horton, who lives in Chapeltown and attends Abbey School, just over the border in Rotherham, has collected a whopping 150 bags worth of rubbish over the last nine months – including 50 this year alone.
The 14-year-old heads out most days before or after lessons, armed with his litter grabber and bundle of clear plastic bags.
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His ‘awesome’ exploits have been widely praised on the Sheffield Litter Pickers Facebook group.
“Well done. This really shows that the young lads and lasses do care and are not all litter bugs,” wrote one fan.
Luca says he was inspired to take up litter picking in his spare time last May because ‘the area looked a mess’.
“It makes me feel good to know I’m helping to keep the area clean,” added the teenager, who often heads out with his mum Jenny and their dog Summer.
“But it makes me cross when you’ve done a pick and you walk back past to find that area is covered with litter again.”
Luca, who is a big Sheffield Steelers fan, says two of the worst grot spots in the area are Cart Road, where drivers often throw wrappers from their windows, and the gennel beside Asda.