WHILE many little lads dream of being pilots, pop stars or firefighters, brothers Max and Blake Carpenter have a very different ambition – to clean up their neighbourhood.

Max, six, and five-year-old Blake like nothing better than to slip on reflective jackets and play at being rubbish collectors. The brothers are often to be found out picking up rubbish on the bridleway near to their home in Carte Place, Langdon Hills.

Their Wombling adventures usually yield a few crisp packets and a couple of empty soft drinks cans. So the litter pickers were in their element when faced by the challenge of enough rubbish to fill a dozen bin-bags.

Proud mum Michelle Carpenter explained: “We often go out with our dogs for walks and when we do, the boys always bring their bright jackets, their gloves and their toy grabbers, so they can play dustmen.

“We normally find a few bits, but on our most recent trip out, we came across rubbish strewn everywhere on the bridleway. Suffice to say, the boys were thrilled and got stuck in.

“They made sure they collected every single piece of rubbish, then we bagged it up and sorted out the recycling. I really do think they had the time of their lives. They were so cute. They chatted away while doing the job, pretending to be real dustmen.”

The weekly visit to the family’s home by Basildon Council refuse collectors is always a treat for the go-getting pair, who often stand at the door and wave to the binmen.

Mrs Carptenter, 39, added: “They have a thing about the dustcart. They just stare at it. It’s a typical boy thing, I suppose.”

Max and Blake both pupils at Great Berry Primary School, Langdon Hills, have a genuine interest in the environment and aren’t afraid to lecture slipshod relatives about the need to recycle.

Mrs Carpenter says she has instilled the need to protect the environment into her boys since they were tots.

She added: “If I get something to eat, before I’ve even had time to take off the wrapper, they are saying ‘mum, you’ve got to put that in a pink sack, please’.

“The boys love to go out to places like Barleylands, but they are also just as happy on a family walk – so long as they have their rubbish picking gear with them, of course.”

When the Echo told Stuart Noyce, the man responsible for Basildon Council’s rubbish collections, about Max and Blake he said he’d be keen to offer them a job one day. He added: “It’s a shame these hard little workers are only five and six, otherwise we’d have them on our books.

“They seem to be doing a cracking job in their neighbourhood and are leading by example. Keep up the good work, boys!”