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Organizing a Neighborhood Clean-up Event

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Tips for Conducting a Successful Neighborhood Clean-up

Organizing a neighborhood clean-up is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your neighbors and beautify your neighborhood at the same time. Below are some suggestions from the Office of Neighborhood Services for planning and implementing a neighborhood cleanup.

Consider applying for a neighborhood grant from the Office of Neighborhood Services to have trash receptacles installed in your neighborhood. Grants are available beginning at $250 through the Neighborhood Development Grant Program. As this project would require the involvement of the Department of Public Works Solid Waste and Streets and Traffic division, be certain to include written documentation with your application indicating their approval of your project.

If your neighborhood clean-up event is not in conjunction with a city-wide sponsored annual event, please advise Roanoke's Manager of Solid Waste (853-6848) of your organization's planned event so that the pick up of trash and debris collected can be scheduled.

If your neighborhood clean-up is in conjunction with a city-wide sponsored event such as the annual spring Clean Valley event or fall Waterways Clean-up event, be sure to register your event with the Clean Valley Council and also advise Roanoke's Manager of Solid Waste (853-6848) of your organization's planned participation so that the pick up of trash and debris collected can be scheduled.

if your clean-up event requires the use of city property such as a street to serve as a collection point for the trash and debris collected, first coordinate your event with Roanoke's Solid Waste Manager (853-6848), then review the Assembly Permit Instructions for submitting an Assembly Permit Application several weeks in advance of the planned activity. Doing so alerts all concerned, ie. Police, Fire, Public Works, etc. that your event has been properly planned.

In addition:

  • Consider using a site large enough (parking lot of a school, church, or other large paved area.) to accommodate trash being collected without adversely affecting traffic flowing in and out of the location. Make certain you get permission to hold your event there.
  • Arrange to complete the event in one day - preferably beginning early in the morning and concluding around lunch time.
  • Have appropriate signage directing traffic in and out of the location.
  • Have a first aid kit on hand at the event.
  • Promote your event to as many neighborhood residents as possible to make them aware that the event has been scheduled. Distribute flyers or postcards. Send emails. Post on social media. Tweet messages.
  • Arrange to have as many volunteers as possible to help on the day of the clean-up. Specific volunteers can be assigned different duties during the event, such as:
    • Have a map available of your neighborhood's clean-up area of focus to help you keep track of areas that have been addressed vs. those that have not
    • Overseeing the registration and assignment of participants to the tasks at hand.
    • Assisting participants with the unloading of their vehicles when necessary;
    • Supervising the clean-up of the location after the event. Remember to leave it cleaner than you found it.
  • Following the event, consider organizing a social event for everyone participating as a 'thank you'. Pizza or ice cream always hit the spot after a hard day at a neighborhood clean-up!