Planning a Tidy Up

Planning ahead is important to the success of your event. Simply follow the steps and advice below and your tidy up will be immensely rewarding and great fun.

Make it Fun

The key to getting people involved in your tidy up is to make it as much fun as possible. Whether you turn your tidy up into a sponsored challenge, have an event theme or even enlist the help of a local celebrity or sports person the more interesting and fun the event, the more people will want to take part.
Download your Big Tidy Up guide for more information.


Firstly, where are you going to do your tidy up? This could be anywhere from a local landmark to a well known 'grot spot.' It is essential that you get permission from the landowner before your event. If you are tidying up council owned land it is particularly important that you gain permission well in advance of the tidy up as the process for approval may take some time.

Who will be there?

You may already be part of a group wishing to do a tidy up. If so, involve them at the planning stage and make it a real team effort. If you plan a large scale tidy up perhaps you could drum up support from other groups in your area: community and youth groups, tenants' associations and environmental groups are just a few of the many who could be interested in making an impact on their local environment.

Things to consider

At an early stage, you need to think about what you will do with the waste once it has been collected. Usually your council will help by collecting the rubbish or providing a skip. If you are planning on removing the rubbish yourself you should ensure that your local 'tip' is equipped to take it. If a commercial waste company is collecting the rubbish or delivering a skip, they will make a charge and want to know what the waste is.

Encourage people to separate and recycle rubbish where possible. You may want to give out different coloured bags for different recycled materials and make arrangements for separate recycling collections - check with your council

Health & Safety

It is important that the event organiser visits the site and completes a risk assessment before the tidy up. It may be helpful to sketch a map of the area to be tackled. For more information, hints and tips visit our Health & Safety page.

Publicise your event

When letting your local newspaper, radio or television station know about your event it is important to contact the news desk at least one week before the tidy up so that they can put the date in their diary. It is also a good idea to contact them the day before to remind them of your event.We have created a template press release you can use and posters.

Download A3 Poster

Recycling the litter

At least 60% of what is dropped as litter is recyclable, so after you have done your Big Tidy Up don’t forget to recycle! Contact the Recycling Officer at your local council
for advice on whether certain materials should be collected separately, where they should be taken or how they should be disposed.


Within your Big Tidy Up kit will be lots of things to help you successfully clean up, however you may wish to consider using the following too;

  • Litter-pickers
  • Protective gloves
  • Bin bags and bags for recycling
  • Rakes or shovels
  • Litter-pickers
  • A safe container (eg biscuit tin or bucket with lid) for sharp objects
  • First aid kit
  • Anti-bacterial wipes or hand-washing gel
  • A skip (for larger events)

Your local council may be able to help you with some of the items above.