Your event guide

Safety needs to be your first consideration when choosing a clean-up site.

Oceans, rivers and creeks are all active waterways and should be treated with caution. Under no circumstances should you host a clean-up in or near a storm water drain.

You may need permission to access some areas. Your local council is the best place to start, they will be able to advise you on what you can and can’t do and they may know of an area that is of need of the cleanup. If the site is on private land you must have the owner’s permission.

Download our risk assessment guidelines to make sure that you haven’t missed anything. Simply, make a copy, fill out the form, and share with others a few days before the event so everyone is on the same page.

Choosing a suitable time, date is important for the success of your event. To maximise attendance, there are a few things to consider:

  • Choose a weekend rather than a weekday
  • Check for public holidays and events
  • Make a regular day and time or choose a day that makes sense for one off or kick off events, for example Clean Up Australia Day or World Environment Day
  • Check the long range weather forecast

We recommend promoting your event no more than 8 weeks, and no less than 2 weeks ahead of your clean up event date.

Social media is the most effective way to get the message out, but it’s important to cover off all the details in your invite:

  • Make sure that the address is correct. It’s also great to include directions and how to get there via public transport stations a shareable location map link is ideal for this
  • If giving a timeframe for the event, include the time that the clean-up starts so people won’t miss out. As a general rule allow at least 30 minutes to get organised and conduct briefings before you get underway.
  • Organise other activities that people may want to take part in such as a sausage sizzle. Your group could also potentially partner with a larger event to encourage on the day sign-ups and promote foot traffic.
  • Online event listings are a great way to promote you event. has a good event promotion guide. Your local Council may also have an events page you can submit your event to, or your P&C or Student Union. You can also post on other local clean up group pages and invite them to come

There’s more to a clean-up event than you think.

  • Volunteers: Each clean up group needs a few extra-motivated volunteers that can take on specific roles at clean up events. Assigning roles and specific tasks to individuals in your group will help your event to run smoothly and safely
  • Safety: Take a look at our safety guide
  • Equipment: we’ve pulled together a list of equipment essentials (and some nice to haves) that will ensure a safe and successful event
  • Waste removal: You’ll need to contact your local council and ask if they are willing to provide a waste collection service at your clean up event. Most are happy to do it for free as you are helping the community.
  • Run sheet: It is important that your group, particularly those with delegated group roles, know when and where to meet, and what they need to do. In addition, they will need to be briefed on the timings and safety.
  • Download our run sheet template to make sure that you haven’t missed anything. Simply, make a copy, fill out the form, and share with others a few days before the event so everyone is on the same page.

Wet weather contingency: make sure you know what you are going to do if it is raining

  • Briefings: Make sure that whoever is giving the briefings knows what to cover
  • Waste disposal and sorting: our data collection sheet will help you to make sure your work makes a difference
  • Say thanks!

When stories of community clean ups are shared, they inspire others to take pride in the cleanliness and beauty of their local area. So, make sure to get your story out there!

You can post on social media and even email photos and notes to local newspapers and online news sources. You may end up getting a published article about your event!

Before sharing, it’s very important to make sure everyone knows that they are being recorded or photographed, so make sure to ask permission before taking photos, videos, names or comments before sharing. Announcing this at the start of the event is an easy way to do this.

Tagging content on social media is important to help others find your events, group and stories. Make sure you tag @SydneyWater and any other relevant organisations in related content. For example, tagging your local council might prompt them to share your event photos.

Consider including hashtags as part of your social media content. Research what hashtags are relevant to your local area – this will increase the chances of your message being seen by the right people!

Here are some to get you started:

#beatthebottle #sydneywater #oursydneyourwater #sydney #plasticfree #saynotoplastic #noplastic #plasticpollution #zerowaste #ecofriendly #waronwasteau #savetheplanet