How to organize a cleanup
The first thing you should do is contact your local Keep America Beautiful (KAB) affiliate or your local beautification committee to find out what is currently planned for your area. Your local KAB may have already chosen your intended locations for a cleanup and began recruiting volunteers for the effort. If you do not know if there is one in your area, use the drop down menu to your left to find one by county.
Get help locally – Form a cleanup committee. Include neighbors, family or friends.
Recruit Volunteers – Take fliers to your neighborhood association meeting or hand deliver them to each house in the neighborhood. *Be sure not to put fliers on cars or on poles – this creates litter!
Prioritize your site(s) to be cleaned – Is there a particular part of your neighborhood that needs more attention than others? If so, ask neighbors to meet at that location first. After you address the hot spots, ask your neighbors to clean up around their property.
Gather supplies – The most important supplies needed for a cleanup are trash bags and gloves. You can request supplies from PalmettoPride. Use this supply request form [pdf].
Set a date for your cleanup – Saturday mornings are usually the best time to schedule a cleanup. The volunteers can usually participate in your cleanup and still have most of the day free.
Set a meeting place – Have a location where people can meet to get their supplies. If you have a site specified for a group cleanup, this can be your meeting place. If you are coordinating a general neighborhood cleanup, find a central location for everyone to come.
Set a meeting time – 8:00am – 9:00am is a good time to start. That way people can wrap up by noon and still have the rest of the day to “play.” Arrange for trash disposal *Be sure to do this prior to your cleanup! If you need assistance removing the trash bags and other debris, contact your city or county public works department to arrange for help with the trash collection.
Secure enforcement – It is always a good idea to inform your local law enforcement agency of your cleanup plans. If the area you are planning to clean is a dangerous area (heavy or fast traffic or near deep water), local law enforcement may provide an officer to assist you.
Call to remind volunteers – it is always a good idea to touch base with your volunteers just before the designated cleanup date to remind them of the plans.
Celebrate your accomplishments – Have a picnic planned in a central location for volunteers. Contact your local grocery stores for donations of food and drinks for the occasion or ask neighbors to contribute – make it a potluck picnic!
Make sure to brag about what you’ve done! Fill out the report form here.
Day of Cleanup Checklist:
- The Cleanup – The following is a brief checklist for the day of the cleanup
- Provide a signup sheet for volunteers
- First aid kit
- Safety instructions – Safety Tips and Cleanup Guide
- Supplies – Gloves, garbage bags and safety vests in busy areas