Interested in making an impact in your neighborhood? Are you tired of looking at the trash in the lot next door? Do you have a desire to get to know your neighbors a little more and get them excited about the neighborhood? A great way to get that lot cleared up and get neighbors together is to organize a neighborhood cleanup. All it takes is a little investigation, planning, communication, elbow grease and a group of willing neighbors.
Set Up a Meeting
Pick a time, date and location for a preliminary meeting and the cleanup. Volunteers are generally more available on Saturdays. Communicate with your block club and get your team together.
Contact Your District Manager
Contact your neighborhood district manager to discuss plans for vacant lots and invite him or her to the planning meeting. Request that he or she communicates with the Department of Public Works as they are responsible for collection of refuse and bulk waste collection. If you let them know what you’re planning, they’ll be better able to help you with advice and assistance.
Post Flyers and Send Invites
A few days prior to the event, post flyers around your neighborhood. Send out a Facebook invite to your friends and tell your community members, friends and family to join you for a planning meeting. Also be sure to share the date of the main event.
Reach Out to Volunteers
Reach out to people who live around the area you’ve targeted for cleaning. They will probably be the most interested in getting rid of the trash and would make a strong first line of recruits. Try communicating with people when they’re coming home from work, before or after worship or when they’re out in the neighborhood. Then, move out to surrounding homes, blocks, churches and businesses. Don’t forget the younger members of your community; their enthusiasm and energy can make your project a greater success and motivate others to get involved.
Have a Meeting to Discuss Details
Find a meeting space. Greet everyone and share with them the target areas in your neighborhood. Be sure to listen to everyone’s ideas and incorporate them with yours as best as possible. Once you’ve all agreed on your first cleanup target, make sure participants are aware of the selected date and time for cleanup day.
You can’t have a cleanup without proper equipment. Make sure to bring the following:
- Trash bags
- Reusable gloves
- Close-toed shoes
- Equipment for picking up trash, like shovels and trowels
- Paint, rollers and brushes for painting walls and fences
- Safe containers for sharp objects like needles and razor blades
- Water and snacks to keep everyone hydrated and energized
Now that you’re prepared, go out and start cleaning! Make sure to thank your volunteers. Gather contact information so you can contact them again to get back together for celebration and future cleanup projects.
Make sure to snap a few photos of the cleanup group as well as the end result!
We’d love to feature pictures of your neighborhood cleanup! If you’d like us to feature your community and pictures from your organized day, send them to Info@OpportunityDetroit.com.