Michael Walsh, a sixth former at Cowbridge Comprehensive School and chair of the School's Eco-Committee, said: "All of us on the school's Eco-Committee have been worried about the litter in the area surrounding the school and felt it was important that we organised a litter pick. We were also concerned about the effect the litter was having on the river Thaw and the wildlife in the river."
Nia Evans, a Year 7 pupil and a member of the Eco-Committee, added: "We did some research and found that litter in waterways can damage and kill wildlife. For example it can choke birds and fish, it can restrict animals’ growth and can harm their digestive systems.
"Now that the area is cleaner we hope that people will think twice before dropping litter and help to preserve the beautiful habitat around the river for wildlife to enjoy."
Richard Weaver, from Keep Wales Tidy, said: "The pupils worked extremely hard and collected 50 bags of rubbish in two hours. They also found a lorry tyre, suitcase, pram, traffic cone, guttering, football and even an iPhone in and around the river."
The Vale of Glamorgan Council's waste team collected the bags of litter from the car park near the town hall and disposed of them.
The Eco-Committee is a part of the international Eco-Schools programme which encourages pupils to take key roles in decision making and participation in order to reduce the environmental impact of their school. In this way, Eco-Schools extends learning beyond the classroom and develops responsible citizenship attitudes both at home and in the wider community.