Organising a litter-picking event

A sponsored waste walk or litter-pick is a fun way to serve your local community, care for creation and raise funds for a Bin Twin.

David Junior and his youth group organised a beach clean-up in Maputo, Mozambique. Photo: Anisio Macie/Anglican Youth

Before the date

Choose a location. Ideas include a beach, riverbank or park.

Develop a core group. Recruit three or four motivated people to help you organise the event.

Get permission. Tell the local government about your litter clean-up. They might even agree to provide equipment such as litter sacks.

Plan your route. 

Identify when and where:

  • people will meet
  • the clean-up will start and end
  • the litter will be sorted
  • the litter will be disposed.
  • If you are cleaning up a beach, check the tides for that day.
  • Prepare guidelines on avoiding dangerous litter, such as asbestos, dead animals, corrosive materials (eg car batteries) and needles (which can transmit HIV). Check local guidance on dealing with hazardous waste, if available.

Spread the word. Publicise the event with friends, family, colleagues and your community. Why not involve your local newspaper or radio station?

Connect with a litter monitoring group. This is optional, but your clean-up will be even more useful if you record the different types of litter you find. To reduce litter at its source, we need to record what it is and who is producing it. Find a national or international litter monitoring organisation and familiarise yourself with their recording requirements.

On the day

Bring any equipment you will need, eg. gardening gloves for volunteers, litter bags and a first aid kit.

Welcome everybody, and explain the plans for the day.

Collect the litter!

Sort the litter. Then leave it at an agreed pick-up point for collection, or transport it to the final location you have agreed with the authorities.

Debrief. Congratulate everyone, take a group photo, share it on social media and email it to Bin Twinning: [email protected]

If you’re feeling really creative, you could create waste sculptures from the waste you’ve collected. Add a sign that includes the name of your group or town, explaining you are fundraising for Bin Twinning. Gather round the sculpture, take a photo and use it to call for change. (Please wear gloves and take care with the waste.)

If you use social media, you could post something like this:

Today @handle/name is joining #Bin Twinning in #TOWN name to save lives, protect the planet and create waste-picking jobs in some of the poorest countries in the world.

After the date

Report back to the local government and thank them for any help.

In Chimoio, Mozambique, Bin Twinning partner Kubatsirana organised a waste walk on World Clean-up Day. About 300 people worked together to do a clean-up in the market area. Edgar Jone, Mozambique Country Representative, told us, ‘Since we did the Clean-up Day, many cities and partners are interested in doing more to reduce waste and clean up urban areas in Mozambique.’ Credit Rui Antonio

Adapted from A Rocha International’s guide, How to organize a litter clean-up, available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. Visit and click on ‘Lifestyle’ to download a copy.