It’s that time of year again, when the whole city rises up to clean our schools, playgrounds, alleys, and blocks. This is the ninth year of the program, and the city tends to trash around a million pounds of garbage in one day. Although cleaning up your block is way easier if done constantly, this is a great day to host a special cleanup for your block because the city will provide all of the tools you’ll need for FREE. And the best part is that once you get the materials, they’re yours to keep. Here are the five easy steps to hosting your own cleanup:
- Reach out to your neighbors! A block cleanup will only be successful if everyone on your block knows about the event and is excited to clean. If you’re the block captain, great, this is your job! Otherwise, go out and find your block captain by knocking on doors and chatting with neighbors, and make sure they are on board.
- Create a volunteer event online. The only way to get supplies for free is by filling out a form online and requesting them. You need to create a username for the Philadelphia Streets Department website and then “Submit a New Event” to get started. Fill in all of your information and make sure that you ask for extra volunteers so your event shows up on the official cleanup map: http://www.philadelphiastreets.com/philly-spring-cleanup/
- Request your supplies. The site will ask you how many trash bags, gloves, brooms, rakes, shovels, recycling bins, and gallons of paint you’ll need. Don’t ask for more than you need, but don’t forget that you’ll be able to give out extra supplies to your neighbors so that you can continue cleaning all summer. Submit your event, and if you need help, contact the NNA Clean & Green Committee for help. (Contact Us)
- Pick up your supplies. Everyone who has created a volunteer event will receive a voucher on the week of March 28th, 2016 with information about how to pick up your supplies. The bad news is that you have to hop into a car and travel to 3303 S. 63rd Street on Mon (4/4/16) – Fri (4/8/16): 7a – 6p or Sat (4/9/16): 7-10a with your driver’s license to prove your residence. The good news is that if you can’t make it, the NNA Clean & Green Committee can help you out by picking it up and scheduling a drop-off time with you.
- Get the word out! One or two weeks before the cleanup, make sure you let your neighbors know what’s going down. You can do this by either knocking on doors or dropping off flyers. If you would like to print out flyers, contact us and we'll provide a template for you.
And then clean up your block! There are a few steps to the process, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be your blocks official city-cleanup representative and it will feel great to help keep your neighborhood clean. Good luck!
A few extra notes:
- You’ll have to let the Streets Department know where your bag pick-up location will be, so be ready to give them a clear intersection.
- The trash bags shouldn’t be heavier than 45 pounds each so they don’t break.
- Stack tires on the curb, those will also be picked up.
- The city recommends you have your volunteers sign a waiver form: http://www.philadelphiastreets.com/images/uploads/resource_library/psc/psc_general_release_and_waiver.pdf
- Keep it safe, here are some recommended safety guidelines: http://www.philadelphiastreets.com/images/uploads/resource_library/psc/psc_safety_guidelines.pdf
- Have your volunteers sign-in so you know who they are and you can contact them for future clean-ups: http://www.philadelphiastreets.com/images/uploads/resource_library/psc/psc_volunteer_sign_in_sheet.pdf
- There are other clean-ups during the summer where the city will give out free supplies and pick up your trash. (For the 17th District, those are June 11th, 2016 and August 6th, 2016.)