It doesn’t matter where you live, there is rubbish and water pollution to be found everywhere. Despite the number of bins and rubbish removal units available in our local areas, rubbish finds its way into our natural landscaping, our creeks and waterways and all around the shops and restaurants we love. There are some suburbs that are militant about their rubbish control and a large part of the success can be attributed to their regular neighbourhood clean-up days.
If you’re sick of the rubbish and ready to roll up your sleeves to beautify your local area, then here are some tips on how you can organise a community clean-up in your neighbourhood.
Communicate The Event Through Facebook And Flyers
Most suburbs have a Facebook group that has been created for residents to communicate about time-sensitive issues and all the comings and goings. This is where you are going to find your fellow volunteers to assist you with your community clean-up. Post in this neighbourhood Facebook group the time of your meeting, what everyone should wear, what equipment you will provide and what they should bring to be successful in the clean-up. You will find there will be a lot of community members who share the same thoughts as you and are ready to get involved, especially those with children as they will be keen to model ethical behaviour to their little ones.
Focus On A Specific Location
It’s quite tempting to choose a huge stretch of land or to believe you can cover the whole neighbourhood in one go. Unfortunately, you will have to rein in those dreams and set a location-specific task for your group. If there is a creek trail, walking trail or large bushland in your neighbourhood, this is a great place to start! It is also more critical to keep these natural areas clear of litter and rubbish due to the animals inhabiting the area. When you have finished the day and secured the support of your volunteers, you can set about planning the next area to clean. Perhaps over a twelve-month period, you can have the whole neighbourhood clean!
Remember To Consider Safety
As the clean-up event organiser, you are responsible for ensuring safe conditioners for your helpers. That means providing sunscreen throughout the day or at the very least reminding your helpers to apply before and during the clean-up. You should also do some research on the area to know what kinds of animals you may be seeing throughout your venture so you can prepare for any unpredictable events.
Another thing to consider would be the roads, highways, bike lanes and foot traffic of the area you are going to be cleaning up. Some areas may only be safe enough for one or two people to be situated cleaning up, and other areas might be able to have larger groups. You can issue your clean-up volunteers with some street maps and highlight the busier intersections so as to eliminate any risks.
Get Your Council Involved
Do not for a second think that you are stepping on the toes of your local council, as they will be thrilled to know that this kind of action is taking place. There are even council grants for these activities. In fact, if you give your local council enough notice, they will be able to circulate the event on their online channels, paper drop newsletters and social media. Not only do they have a far larger audience than you could even conjure, but their audience is highly targeted to your neighbourhood. If you happen to take photos on the day, be sure to share that with them also so that they have a reference image to share next time when you start to plan the next clean-up day!
Depending on the resources of your local council, you may even be lucky enough to use some of their equipment and tools for your clean-up day. They may also have hats, sun-safe clothing and other council items that will save you from having to source them for yourselves. Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved.
You are almost ready to organise a clean-up for your neighbourhood! The longer lead time you have for your clean-up event, the more prepared you will be and the better chance there will be that your volunteers will be free and marking this event in their calendars early.