Do you want to make your community look and feel better? Creating a day where everyone comes together to remove trash and beautify the area is an excellent way to promote responsibility, help the environment, raise local property values, and bring people together for a common cause. Here are four ways to organize a big cleaning project in your own neighborhood.

Coordinate with the HOA

If you live in a master-planned community or neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, then you can meet with the office to see if they want to sponsor the event or take part in it. City offices and public works can be helpful in directing you to the nearest compost area and even helping to publicize the event. Most cities have public event planners with newsletters that can be utilized to promote your cleanup to cover parks, multiple neighborhoods, and other common areas. These officials know the community resources and may even be able to provide professional planning assistance and community funding to ensure that you are ready to go when the cleaning day comes.

Schedule ahead

Timing is key to coordinating a large event. Giving yourself and the participants plenty of advance notice makes it easier for people to maneuver schedules. This will also provide you with the time you need to settle the details and obtain supplies. Renting equipment may require a couple of weeks notice. Getting everyone on the same page is not easy when you are working with other offices and groups. At times, volunteering is difficult to coordinate because people are overworked or overbooked. The further in advance you can schedule your event, the more likely that people can set aside their time to attend.

Rent and stock supplies

Plenty of gloves, trash bags, reflective vests, and trash poles are a few of the things your cleanup event will need. These can be rented from the city and from local services. It’s also important to remember that gathering up all of the trash won’t do much good if there’s nowhere for it to go. Instead of piling it in someone’s yard for a few weeks or filling up everyone’s trash bins, consider getting a dumpster rental to fill up during the event and then cart the trash for you when it’s over. You can also talk to the dumpster rental companies in your area about recycling options to further help the environment.

Organize groups

When you have a solid list of volunteers, creating a blueprint for the event is necessary to maintaining safety and running an efficient operation. Purchasing different colored t-shirts is one keep people organized and even give a little bit of team hype to the event. You can break up teams by families, location, number, or colors depending on the size of your event and number of participants. Be sure to plan what areas the teams will cover ahead of time so that you can get city approval and you won’t be scrambling for places to send people when the cleaning day comes. If you want to add some extra fun, consider offering a prize to the team with the most bags filled or for the cleanest area.

Many times, project coordinators have success in getting local businesses on board with community cleanups. By thinking ahead and getting creative, you can design a successful event. Improving your neighborhood can be a rewarding experience that inspires your community to be more mindful of their trash in the future.