11th March 2024

Planning your own community clean-up?

There are several things you should take into account when organising a clean-up event. It is important to assess the area you wish to clean up. Identify the specific issues that need to be addressed and determine the area you want to clean. This will help you to plan and allocate resources effectively. What is the length of the area you would like to clean up, what type of rubbish is the group likely to come across, how many people will you need?, etc.

Reach out to residents, community groups, local sport clubs and local businesses to gain their support and participation. This will not only increase the impact of your clean-up event but also foster a sense of community and ownership of the area.

Litter-picking equipment and H&S requirements

Ensure that proper safety measures are in place before beginning the clean-up. This includes providing participants with appropriate equipment, such as gloves and litter pickers.  The AONB and Geopark has gloves and litter pickers which we can to groups. Contact the Ring of Gullion AONB and Geopark Officer on [email protected] or 0330 137 4898.

As the event organiser, you must conduct a risk assessment and give a safety briefing to all participants. Volunteers must be aware of any potential hazards in the area and understand how to keep themselves safe.

We recommend that you avoid: 

  • Hazardous areas like deep or fast-flowing water, steep, slippery or unstable banks, sharp rocks, derelict buildings, busy roads and electric fences. 
  • Working alone – ask volunteers to employ a buddy system and stay in sight and earshot of others.
  • Handling any potentially dangerous items such as unknown cans or canisters, oil drums, chemical containers and sharp items. If dangerous, poisonous, or hazardous items are present, contact DAERA’s Hazardous Waste department on 028 9056 9710.

For template risk assessment and tips, check out Live Here Love Here’s  Clean Up Health & Safety Pack.

Public Liability Insurance

It is good practice to have insurance cover for your group. Insurance safeguards the group and group leader should a volunteer make a claim for an injury sustained while volunteering.

Reporting your results

When you complete a litter pick, you become one of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers on a collective mission to improve the environment! After you’ve cleaned up, please report your results on the Live Here Love Here website.

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