An army of workers today began the back-breaking task of removing 1,650 tonnes of waste from the Glastonbury Festival site.
A team of 1,300 ‘recycling volunteers’ will take more than three weeks to clear the 900-acre site, which has been left carpeted in rubbish.
An estimated 11 tonnes of clothes and camping gear will be abandoned at the site, including 6,500 sleeping bags, 5,500 tents, 3,500 airbeds, 2,200 chairs, 950 rolled mats and 400 gazebos.
The festival organisers spend £780,000 every year collecting rubbish, which will include 400 tonnes of chipped wood, nine tonnes of glass, 54 tonnes of cans and plastic bottles, 41 tonnes of cardboard, and 66 tonnes of scrap metal.
Nearly 200 tonnes of composted organic waste is removed from the site during the five day festival, which is attended by 177,550 people.
Last year 49 per cent of all the waste was recycled but organisers are aiming for 60 per cent this year.
The fields of Worthy Farm are used for grazing dairy cows which are moved off the land in the run-up to the festival.
But the festival is taking a break next year during the Olympic summer and Michael Eavis today revealed plans to grow wheat on the 1,100-acre site.
The land will be ploughed and the wheat sown during Autumn this year.
He said: ”We’ll have fields of wheat next year and that might be a positive step for the world, as there’s a wheat shortage as it is anyway.
”It’ll be nice for the fields to have a change and for the village to have a break, and for me and the family and the farm workers who run the farm.”
After the litter pickers have removed any visible items, the site is turned over with machines to dig out any items which may have been trodden into the mud.
Cows grazing the site at Worthy Farm for the rest of the year have died in previous years after eating stray tent pegs left in the ground.
The festival will next take place in 2013.