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© Alice Ferguson Foundation DIRTY WORK: Organizing a Schoolyard Cleanup How to Organize a Schoolyard Cleanup (it’s really easy, we promise!)
© Alice Ferguson Foundation The Awful Truth About Trash Does this look familiar to you? Trash everywhere! You see it on the streets, on the ground while you’re at practice, even in the hallways of your school. You’re first idea may be to ignore it. Hey, you didn’t put it there, why should you clean it up?
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Why You Need to Care The average American throws out 5 pounds of trash per day (MWCOG) Over 8,000 volunteers collected 291 tons of trash from over 400 sites at the 2007 Potomac River Watershed Cleanup Of that trash, 16% was comprised of materials that could’ve been recycled If we don’t stop this trash in our own neighborhoods, it will make its way to the Potomac River, which is the source of drinking water for residents in the Metro DC area.
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Get Involved! By doing something as easy as a schoolyard cleanup, you are improving the health of your environment This presentation will help you understand how to organize a successful and fun (seriously!) schoolyard cleanup!
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Things to Know The following information highlights some key issues you need to consider before your cleanup
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Selecting a site at your school Did you get permission from your school principal/administration to have a cleanup in that area? (THIS IS A MUST) Who do you want helping at your site? –Do you have an adult that’s willing to supervise the site? –Do you want your cleanup to be open to all volunteers? –Do you want only your group/ club to participate? Does your site have access to parking?
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Pre-game Evaluation Before the day of your cleanup it’s important to assess your site, which means you need to walk around your site with these considerations in mind:
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Accessibility Will everyone be able to get to your site? Where will volunteers park? Is there a track meet/game/event going on near your cleanup date that will change the layout of your site? Will it be easy to transport the trash off your site? (remember this is your responsibility)
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Safety Are there any hazards such as steep banks, poison ivy, slippery rocks, broken glass or sharp metal objects?
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Critter Watch! Look out for any sensitive ecological features: –Check for animal homes or nests that need to be avoided. Remember, we DO want to get rid of the trash, but let’s be sensitive to the little guys that are living in your cleanup site. It’s their home, you know!
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Site Size If your site is really big, divide the area into “mini-sites” with a reliable leader or group in charge of each area.
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Register Your Site! We want to know about your site! Be sure to follow the steps below to make sure we get all the information about your cleanup: –Visit the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Website and click on the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup tab to register your site; or –Download a registration form and mail or fax it to AFF; or –Call AFF at to register over the phone Once you register you’ll be able to get supplies, data sheets, and other important information that will help you plan your cleanup.
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Spread the Word Recruit Volunteers at your school! We don’t want you to do this alone! –Post flyers in your area and ask people to join. –Ask someone in the office to make an announcement over the PA, or better yet, make one yourself!
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Supplies AFF will give you stuff! –Orange and blue bags (orange for trash, blue for recycling) –Gloves –Data Sheets –Planning Guides and Safety Information Be sure to call the Alice Ferguson Foundation at or to coordinate receiving supplies.
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Getting Rid of Your Junk Arrange for Proper Trash Disposal –Talk with your school’s janitorial staff to confirm places to set your trash for collection. – Ask them when/where it would be convenient for them to pick up your trash.
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Picking Up Your Trash Blue bags= recyclables Orange bags= trash Why do we ask you to do this? –Education –Data Collection DON’T FORGET: RECORD YOUR DATA AND SEND IT TO AFF!
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Data Collection While cleaning up your schoolyard, it’s important to have at least one member of your group be in charge of data collection: –Count the number of orange/ blue bags –Record the top 3 brand names you see –Estimate the pounds of loose trash you’ve colleted (trash that’s so big it can’t fit into a bag)
© Alice Ferguson Foundation Safety & HAZMAT Read your safety and HAZMAT guidelines –Make sure you have a container ready for collecting any hazardous materials and/or sharp stuff Don’t touch anything that’s sharp and pointy –We love the enthusiasm, but not as much as you love your fingers Wear those gloves Liquids need to STAY in those bottles! –They’re called fisherman’s bathrooms for a reason guys… When in doubt, ask an adult!
© Alice Ferguson Foundation THE END
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