Guidelines for your cleanup:

1. Choose a location

  • Identify/survey the area you want to clean - make sure there will be trash to collect!
  • Make sure it is safe, accessible and that you are allowed to be there.
  • Identify where you will have your assembly point, trash collection point
  • Decide how many teams of volunteers you will need to clean the site.
  • Mark entry points
  • If necessary arrange transport for volunteers to assembly point and onwards to entry points

2. Promote your event

  • Contact everyone you want to take part.
  • Make and distribute posters/flyers.
  • Encourage local businesses and community members to join.
  • Ask people to sponsor the event – e.g. free printing, donating gloves, helping with transport (taxi or bus company), donating snacks and drinks for the volunteers, etc.

Remember that busy professionals might not read e-mails and that community members are best engaged through face-to-face contact or posters.

3. Gather your equipment (packing list)

  • Gloves
  • Trash bags e.g. animal feed bags, fertilizer bags – any bags that are not new!
  • Cutters, scissors, trowels, etc (to remove trapped items)
  • Weighing scales (to weigh your total trash collected)
  • Drinking water (no single-use plastic items)
  • Snacks (no disposable or single-use plastic items)
  • Cameras (to document the event)
  • First-aid kit

4. Arrange how the trash will be removed from the site
Can you arrange collection via garbage trucks? Will your local government help?

Tell volunteers your most important do's and don’ts:

  • Do collect non-biodegradable items e.g. plastic, glass, metal or polystyrene.
  • Do collect small items e.g. polystyrene balls or sweet wrappers.

  • Do collect data as mentioned above.
  • Do work together.

  • Do report back to the weighing station to weigh your collected trash
  • Do deposit collected trash in the allocated place.

  • Do ensure trash is collected.
  • Do take photos and videos which can later be shared to publicize our efforts and raise awareness of the problem
  • Don’t collect biodegradable items e.g. driftwood, coconuts, seeds, seaweed, coral, shells or other vegetation.
  • Don’t burn any trash you collect.

  • Don’t trample vegetation.
  • Don’t leave any trash from the event!

During the Clean-up

  • While collecting the trash, always take care of personal safety!
  • Explain which items are recyclable and how/where to keep them separate.
  • Inform where the collection point is.
  • Keep Records:
    Weigh trash,
    no. of volunteers, 
    area covered,
    time spent
  • Bring refreshments.
  • Group photo!
  • Trash removal from site.

NMPA generally requests permission from the local authority to leave the trash at the collection point for at least 24 hours, and places a large poster in front of it, as this helps raise public awareness of the problem.

After the Cleanup

  • Have a short thank you ceremony to acknowledge participants.
  • Take a final group photo to celebrate everyone’s hard work.
  • Send your photos and details of the clean up to
    and we’ll promote your hard work too!
  • Share your results with friends...
  • Estimate the distance you cleaned for reporting your data.
  • Report your data to the appropriate organizations e.g. photograph and email to
  • Encourage people to share their experiences with you e.g. photos or fun stories.
  • Spread the word in person and on social media. Tell people about your good work and encourage them to do the same.


Guidelines English
Download and print our guidelines to take to your next meeting.
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Recomendações Portugues
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