10 Steps to Organize a Cleanup for World Cleanup Day

Written by
Becca Melhuish
September 7, 2023

Ready to be a force for positive change, but not quite sure where to start? Here’s our 10-step guide to organizing a cleanup on World Cleanup Day, Saturday 16 September! With 9 days to go, there’s still time to organize yours – helping make the world’s biggest environmental action movement more impactful than ever! And whether it’s big or small, public or private, don’t forget to register your cleanup here!

1. Get a team together

Everything’s more fun in a team! Rally like-minded individuals who share your passion for environmental action. Share out tasks such as logistics, communications, volunteer management, and waste handling to make everyone’s workload manageable and enjoyable.

2. Pick your cleanup site

Selecting the right location is crucial – consider access, waste disposal logistics, and potential hazards. Conduct a risk assessment and carry out a waste-mapping exercise. Decide which areas you’ll clean, and choose where volunteers will collect their cleanup materials, such as gloves and bags.

3. Register your cleanup

Register your event on our interactive map. This helps interested participants find and sign up for your cleanup. Additionally, by registering, you'll get access to valuable resources and important updates. Whether it’s big or small, public or private, registering is essential!

4. Contact partners

Collaboration is key! Reach out to the local municipality for necessary permissions and waste disposal arrangements. Strive for maximum recycling where possible! Organize volunteer insurance if required. Look for partners who can provide free waste sacks, transportation, refreshments, publicity, and anything else you may need.

5. Communicate

Spread the word about your event far and wide, using the available marketing materials. Promote your cleanup on social media platforms, and get the attention of local media too! Engage local groups and organizations to recruit more volunteers. Register all volunteers and provide them with essential information in the lead up to the day, such as what to bring and what to expect.

6. Kick off the cleanup!

Prepare the meeting point with necessary facilities, resources and information (WC, hand-washing, etc.). Ensure your phone is fully charged for the day. Welcome and brief volunteers on safety and waste sorting. Assign specific areas to volunteer pairs or groups and provide them with cleanup tools like bags and gloves.

7. Collect and sort

Support volunteers as they collect waste. Encourage them to separate different waste types into designated bags. Take precautions with any hazardous items to ensure everyone's safety.

8. Report your results

Track your progress by counting the number of waste bags or assessing the weight in tons or cubic meters. Share the number of volunteers and the amount of waste collected with us to contribute to our global cleanup data and WCD impact stats!

9. Clear up thoroughly

Supervise the waste collection by your partners and ensure nothing is left behind!

10. Celebrate!

After all the hard work, it's time to celebrate your achievement! Dance! Sing! Thank all the volunteers who made it possible! And don’t forget to capture the moment with a group photo. Share your success on social media using #WorldCleanupDay2023 to inspire others.

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For more detailed guidance, check out our ‘Toolbox for Cleanup Organisers’ on our Get Involved page. And for additional support, don't hesitate to contact your country's local WCD organizing team via our Countries page.

See you on 16 September for World Cleanup Day, as part of the global movement to clean up our beautiful planet! Together, we can make a difference.

Ready to make a difference this World Cleanup Day on 16 September? Discover our 10-step guide to organizing a successful cleanup event.
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