Action 215: Organise a community clean up

Action: 215
Cost of taking action: £/$/€ FREE


By our guest writer Paul in Holland

Getting together a community group to improve the local environment is a great way of bringing people together

Organising a community clean-up can be a simple and fun way to make an impact AND inspire your local community into taking action.

What’s more, now is the perfect time to do this with World Clean Up Day taking place on 18 September, which means there will be support and publicity.

There are lots of ways to organise a clean-up event and you can make it as small or big as you like.

What do you need to do?

LitterIt could be as simple as contacting a few neighbours and suggesting that you spend an hour walking around the neighbourhood with some gloves and bin bags.

Or, it could be more structured, and you invite lots of people to head to a heavily littered area for a mass clean-up.

Here are some things to help get your ideas flowing. After all, there is no right or wrong way.

Who to involve

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Neighbours
  • Or even bigger?

How to reach people

  • Word of mouth (keep nice and casual)
  • Whatsapp? (your immediate contacts)
  • Facebook – it is really easy to organise an event or group
  • Nextdoor and other community apps
  • Local newspaper or council? If you want to make it bigger then why not be ambitious?

What you need to tell people

  • Where
  • When
  • How long
  • What to bring, for example gloves, bags, litter grabbers (see other things – below) and smiles!

Other things to consider

  • Music? Why not make it fun; if someone has a portable speaker tell them to bring it along!
  • Luggage scales – you can get a handheld luggage scale for very little money nowadays, and it will mean you can then weigh all the bags at the end – this is so much fun to do.

“Wow, we removed 15kg of trash today!”

  • Social media – tell others what you are doing and then what you did! Be proud!
  • Free resources – often the local council will lend out equipment (like litter grabbers) if you ask. Councils are generally keen to see the community do events like this.
  • Prizes? Why not contact some local businesses to see if they want to help or even donate gifts to participants. It is a good advert for them.
  • Start from a local café? Often local cafes are keen to join in. Maybe they will give people a free coffee on their return from the clean-up?
  • Health & Safety – make sure people know what to take and what to leave and report instead, and that they work in groups and watch out for each other all the time. This is especially the case if children get involved.

World Clean-Up Day 2021 is on 18 September

You can arrange a cleanup at any time of year, but did you know that each year, more than 20 million people take part in a day of cleanup events spanning over 180 countries?

This is World Cleanup Day.

You can learn more and register your event at

There are links there to cleanup activities and initiatives in many countries, and they also have some great resources and tips for you, please visit their website.

Get your event on their map!

Take action 215

Littering is an outward sign of some of the pollution and attitude problems we face in trying to protect our environment. Please, if you can, bring your community together to try and address it in your area. You can improve your living environment, help protect our natural world from damage, injury and death, and bring people together in a community spirit.

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Take care, have fun, make a difference.


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