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Here you will find a checklist summarizing the important points of the section.


What is a neighborhood cleanup program?

__ A neighborhood cleanup program is an ongoing project that assumes that effort will be maintained.

__ There are three kinds of neighborhood cleanups:

  • Public space cleanup: neighborhood volunteers clean public spaces.
  • Household cleanup: households clean up property and put out hard-to-dispose-of waste for special collection.
  • Community-assisted cleanup: the community helps with permits, permissions, removing abandoned vehicles, etc.

__ In any of these cleanups, the community may supply tools, equipment, and/or employees to help neighborhood volunteers.


Why conduct a neighborhood cleanup program?

__ A neighborhood cleanup program can instill neighborhood pride.

__ It can break a cycle of hopelessness and helplessness.

__ It gives everyone a chance to contribute.

__ A cleanup program enhances neighborhood quality of life.

__ It can improve the self-image of residents and of the neighborhood as a whole.

__ A neighborhood cleanup program can improve neighborhood health.

__ It can help to "green" the neighborhood.

__ It makes the neighborhood more attractive to business.

__ It can serve as a springboard for other neighborhood actions or activities.

__ It can increase the number of relationships and the amount of social capital within the neighborhood.

__ A neighborhood cleanup program can encourage the embrace of diversity.


Who should be involved in a neighborhood cleanup program?

__ Any significant racial or ethnic groups, including the majority group.

__ Youth.

__ Elders.

__ People with disabilities.

__ Faith communities.

__ Property owners, including absentee owners.

__ Renters.

__ Neighborhood business owners and managers.

__ Neighborhood clubs and associations.

__ Health and human service organizations that serve the neighborhood.

__ School personnel.

__ Neighborhood and/or municipal officials.


When should you conduct a neighborhood cleanup program?

__ When the weather is good.

__ When volunteers are available.

__ When the municipality can help.

__ When open spaces and streets in the neighborhood are covered with waste.

__ When the municipality provides the opportunity.

__ When waste presents a danger to children or others.

__ When waste presents a danger to health.

__ When the neighborhood is interested in economic development.

__ When you want to bring the neighborhood together.

__ When the neighborhood seems to have lost hope.


How do you conduct a neighborhood cleanup program?

__ Recruit or find a core group to begin the effort.

__ Put together a planning group that represents all groups in the neighborhood.

__ Assess the neighborhood.

__ Decide what kind of neighborhood cleanup you want to conduct.

__ Consider your resources.

__ Pick an appropriate place, date and time.

__ Recruit volunteers.

__ Organize volunteers.

__ Plan the cleanup itself.

  • Coordinate the effort.
  • Ask for help from the municipality.
  • Get permissions and permits.
  • Decide what actually needs to be done.
  • Manage volunteers.
  • Work with the media to gain positive publicity.
  • Take care of the nitty gritty.
  • Make the cleanup fun.
  • Celebrate when you're done.

__ Run the cleanup.

__ Monitor and record your efforts.

__ Create a structure to keep the effort going.

__ Start planning for the next cleanup.