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Community Partnership Program

How to organize an effective cleanup

Step 1: Surveying

  • Select realistic boundaries.
  • List the location of trash, bulk items, tires, and graffiti. Determine how you want to remove them.
  • List each lot, school, playground, recreation center, or street you want to clean.
  • Estimate the people and supplies needed to remove the graffiti and trash.
  • Take before and after photos to document the results of the cleanup.

​Step 2: Schedule

  • Choose a date. Most successful volunteer cleanups take place on Saturday mornings. Weather is always a factor, so have a rain date for your cleanup.
  • Confirm your core organizers and assign different tasks.
  • Identify resources for equipment. If you’re using the Community Partnership Program, allow time for application processing.
  • Determine how and when you will pick up the materials and equipment.

​Step 3: Volunteer recruitment

  • Contact residents in the area and within a three-block radius.
  • Use flyers, posters, social media, and word of mouth to advertise the cleanup.
  • Try to include people from different backgrounds and age groups.
  • Follow up with volunteers before the cleanup to help ensure their participation.
  • Plan for some of your volunteers not to show up.

Step 4: Cleanup day

  • Choose a central location for volunteers to pick up supplies and get assignments.
  • Consider accessibility, toilets, and parking availability.
  • Have volunteers fill out a sign-in sheet. Ask for each volunteer’s name, phone, address, and email.
  • Select team captains and make them responsible for supplies and equipment. Do not leave supplies unattended.
  • Provide each team captain with a list of assigned site locations and tasks.
  • Things like coffee, juice, donuts, music, and lunch are welcome additions.
  • Always consider vehicular traffic. Wear bright colors so oncoming traffic will see you.
  • No horseplay, shoving, or pushing.
  • Encourage courteous and positive behavior with other volunteers and local residents.
  • Be sure to clean up all posters and flyers after the event.