19531343 - team of volunteers picking up litter in suburban street

A neighborhood cleanup initiative serves to revitalize an area while at the same time creates a sense of community. It doesn’t have to be daunting. With careful planning and helping hands, anyone can set up a successful community cleanup initiative.

Pre-event

  • Organize. Select a project coordinator to help determine where you will be cleaning up and logistics. Questions to consider: Is the site accessible? Do you need a permit or special permission? Are there restrooms? Will there be enough trash to clean up?
  • Publicize. Put the word out to colleagues and their families, church groups, neighborhood centers and other community settings to gather volunteers.
  • Gather supplies. You’ll want to have gloves and bags for the volunteers as well as provide water and snacks. Check with your Chamber of Commerce as they usually provide donations for these kind of events.

Day-of

  • Set up. Arrive early to set up supplies, water and snacks, and greet volunteers. Have a sign-in sheet to collect volunteers’ names, addresses and phone numbers. This way you can thank everyone and invite them to future events.
  • Dispose trash. One of the most important items to consider is what to do with the trash you collect. If you collected trash bags of regular waste, you can contact a trash hauler to remove them. Schools or local businesses may let you use their dumpster. For any hazardous waste, such as tires or medical waste that need special handling, you can call LB Medwaste and we’ll be happy to take care of it.
  • Celebrate. After you’re done, have a small party to celebrate a job well done!

Post-event

  • Report. Write a short summary of your event, how much and what kind of trash was collected, and how many volunteers were involved. Send this to your local paper as well as the volunteers to let them know the impact they made in their community.
  • Thank. Remember to send those thank you notes and emails to volunteers and anyone else who may have donated supplies or helped in other ways.
  • Repeat! Make it an annual affair. It may just inspire others to do the same and pay it forward.

Have you organized a successful community clean-up? We’d love to hear about it. Let us know on our Facebook page.