Spring Clean Month 2021 – Plan Yours

Community Spring Clean 2021

National Spring Clean is Ireland’s most popular, well-recognized and successful anti-litter and waste initiative. It takes place during April each year.  The campaign encourages all sector of society to actively participate and take responsibility for litter and waste. National Spring Clean has been operated by An Taisce since 1999 in partnership with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Dublin City Council – Park Flowers

The size and scale of our National Spring Clean has grown steadily and significantly over the years and has many benefits for people taking part. In 2019, 5,448 groups registered to carry out clean-ups throughout the country – Over 500,000 volunteers have participated in the Spring Clean 2019 and collected an estimated 3,000 tonnes of litter. National Spring Clean 2021 aims to build on the progress and momentum from prior years to make 2021 the most successful anti-litter campaign yet.

Please remember that clean-ups taking part before the end of the Level 5 Covid restrictions (Proposed as April 5th 2021) should only be within your own household/support bubble and within 5km from home.

In other years local area cleanups are usually organised by resident associations, tidy town groups, schools, youth group and others: (This year clean ups might be organised through virtual meetings in order to assign tasks prior to the event and people involved might focus on there local area).

With April 2021 in mind Recycle IT have assembled some tips for organising a successful National Spring Clean event in your area! Some of the tips below will not be practical due to COVID 19 but we can all do our bit in our immediate area. Stay safe, practice social distancing, wear gloves, follow government guidelines and enjoy.

Time

  • You will need time to organise your event. Start planning at least a few weeks in advance. Spring is the best time to do a cleanup – before grass and weeds have a chance to hide rubbish and litter and make retrieval more difficult.
  • When you select a day or weekend for the cleanup, check with local community organisations and the local authority in your area to avoid any event conflict
  • Arrange for the collection and disposal of the waste collected.
Street Lights Collected for Safe Recycling

Planning

  • A good plan will help your group set a direction and document the steps you need to take to organise the spring cleanup. Using an existing neighbourhood cleanup committee or forming a new group is a great way to get things done efficiently and build ownership at the same time.
  • Use a Clean Up notebook to record names, numbers emails, dates and other important information. It’s good to document everything and maintain a cleanup file including photos. This can be used for grant applications and PR.
  • Determine your “cleanup area” to get an idea of the support you will need. Use a map to coordinate teams and pickup routes. Records litter black spots and any situations needing special tools or equipment to get the job done.
  • Work to estimate the number of volunteers, assign tasks and develop a schedule.
Waste Bins

Team Building

  1. Remember letters or social media networks work well. If you do not know your neighbours, now is a good time to arrange a zoom or whatsapp call. Introduce yourself and tell them what you would like to do. Do not ask for a commitment — that will come later — just get a feel for the support you have.
  2. There may be groups within your community that regularly organize community projects. Consider partnering with these or other groups, even if they are not in your area.
  3. Businesses and your local authority take pride in their communities. Ask them to help with this community effort by donating items or funding to support the event.
  4. Have a few event photographers so you share photos on website, social media and in newsletter articles or annual reports.

Promotion

  • Consider creating a promotional flyer to distribute via email to local business and organisations.
  • Specify what will be or will not be accepted; provide options for those items.
  • Inform residents about the pickup times. Specify the cleanup will occur regardless of the weather. 
  • Include details of the cleanup in parish and community newsletters, social media, on websites, local radio and newspapers.
  • Invite the media to do a story on your cleanup – this is recognition of volunteers, donors or sponsors.
Get People Thinking before Disposing

Implementation

Before you start, gather everyone together to review the event and answer questions. Have a cleanup plan with a start and finish point in an estate or street with groups starting at both ends and working towards the middle. Spread volunteers out so they have plenty to do while having fun.

Coordinator duties

  • Register interested parties.
  • Ensure everyone is aware of safety requirements and areas to avoid.
  • Make sure children are safe and supervised by adults.
  • Answer questions on collection and removal.
  • Have brochures and coupons available on how to dispose of items you cannot accept (WEEE, batteries, hazardous waste, tires, oil, etc.).
  • Make sure plenty of water, mobile phones and a first aid kit on-site.
  • Keep details for emergency service at hand.
  • Keep a positive attitude. don’t get overwhelmed and avoid overwork – you can do more another day!

Some of the typical cleanup needs include:

  • Volunteers
  • Bin bags
  • Safety signs and general safety
  • Gloves/heavy-duty
  • Buckets for sharp objects
  • Tools (ropes, rakes, shovels, etc.)
  • Trees/wildflower/grass seeds
  • Hi-Vis Safety Vests
  • First Aid Kit
  • List of mobile phone numbers
  • After clean up event e.g. BBQ or picnic
WEEE To Work - Recycle IT
WEEE To Work – Recycle IT

Say Thanks

Take every opportunity to mention the support of your volunteers, especially when talking to the media. You should write thank you letters to key community groups and local businesses/donors. Provide copies of photos for their archives.

Finally…

Record what worked well and what didn’t. This means you do not have to reinvent the wheel this time next year! This information will be important for new and future members of the cleanup group.

If you would like to include a residents association door 2 door recycling collection for electrical, electronic and pure metal items as part of your local spring clean please call Recycle IT on 01 4578321 or email info@recylceit.ie.

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT, is an award-winning social enterprise offering electrical, electronic and metal recycling services through drop off and collection. Services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland and South Dublin County Council.

Recycle IT are supported by Pobal and Dormant Accounts and authorised by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow.

For more information on Recycle IT please call 01 4578321, email info@recycleit.ie or visit our website www.recycleit.ie

You can get your spring clean pack and more information click here

Van 2020
Van with Recycle IT Logo

2 thoughts on “Spring Clean Month 2021 – Plan Yours

  1. Pingback: 19 Pointers – Avoid Creating Waste – Recycle IT

  2. As the article mentioned, good planning is at the core of a successful refuse and litter cleaning campaign. I’ve taken part in rubbish clearance campaigns in my hometown for the past four years and the difference between success and mediocrity has always been the preliminary planning.

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