Organising your own litter-lift or clean-up event is a great way for you, family, friends, and neighbours to clean up your local area and help prevent littering of our road and lanes-ways, rivers, streams and loughs.

It’s not difficult to do but there are a few things you need to think about before you call your volunteers to action.


Information regarding how you can get involved with helping improve the local community and overall environment.

  • 1.Where will you do your litter-lift?

    Decide where you would like to do your clean up.

    You could clean up and enhance a local landmark, or take action on a well-known ‘grot spot’. Always get permission from the land owner for your activities. If you wish to clean up on council owned land, you will have to ask permission well in advance of your event as the process for approval may take some time.

  • 2.Is it safe? What are the risks?

    Having chosen a place for your clean up, visit the site and carefully identify all the risks that you might face while you are there.

    When assessing the risks, the following are examples of hazards that you should make a note of:

    1. Unidentified cans or canisters, oil drums, poisons, insecticides, clinical waste, other hazardous substances, broken glass, condoms, syringes etc.
    2. Deep or fast flowing water, currents or tides, steep, slippery or unstable banks, sharp rocks, mud holes, derelict buildings, busy roads, electric fences, etc.
    3. Yellow and / or red signs generally indicate a hazard, even if you’re not sure what the symbols mean, take care to avoid areas marked with them.

    If you think the area carries too many risks for you and your group, choose somewhere else.

  • 3.What equipment will you need?

    You will need a supply of refuse sacks and other clean up equipment will come in useful, depending on the nature, type and size of your event and the resources available to you.

    Make a list of useful equipment and work out who will provide what. Check if any volunteers can provide their own equipment. Your local council may also be able to help or advise on obtaining protective wear or equipment.

    For council equipment contacts please go to

  • 4.Whose permission do you need to access land?

    Seeking landowner permission is essential before carry out a litter-pick or tidy up events.  You should not cross or access provide land without the landowners permission.

    If it is public land that you are working on (e.g forests, parks, state-care monuments and sites) you should inform the relevant council or Government Agency/Department which owns the land and seek their permission before proceeding.

  • 5.Do you need insurance?

    Obtaining public liability insurance is very important and not very expensive. This will provide cover for your legal liability during the event, including damage or injury to a member of the public or their property.

  • 6.Where do you take the litter/rubbish that you collect to be disposed of or recycled properly?

    The litter you collect can be disposed of at council refuse and recycling centres but you should contact your local council to inform them that you will be bringing rubbish for disposal. Some types of rubbish such as tyres, gypsum-based products and asbestos cannot be disposed of in refuse sites and need to be treated differently.

    You should inform your local council of what types of rubbish you are intending to bring to the refuse site and they will advise you further.

Organising a Clean Up

Hints and Tips Guide

Here are some useful hints and tips to consider when organising a Clean Up.

download pdf

Adopt a Spot

Is there an area near you that could use a bit of TLC? Could you commit to carrying out just four clean ups a year? Then get involved in Live Here Love Here’s Adopt A Spot programme!

Adopt a Spot is a scheme that enables volunteers across Northern Ireland to adopt an area and look after it. Adopters can be anyone, from families, community or youth groups, schools, and sporting associations. Live Here Love Here will provide groups with an adoption pack containing all the equipment you need including:

  • 5 litter picker
  • 5 pairs of gloves
  • 5 high vis vests
  • bin bags
  • a sharps box
  • a first aid kit,
  • a bucket,
  • a certificate
  • a hints and tips booklet on how to run a successful clean up.

Visit Live Here Love Here and the Adopt a Spot Programme to find out how you can Adopt a Spot and access these free resources.

adopt a spot