Team Up to Clean Up

Team Up to Clean Up is a year-round city-wide community clean up program. This program provides all the tools you need to run a community clean up including gloves, recycling bags and specially marked garbage bags.

In 2015, over 23,000 volunteers participated in Team Up to Clean Up. Volunteers collected 4,800 bags of garbage, 1,600 bags of recycling and invested more than 37,000 volunteer hours to help clean up our community.

The program helps keep public places in your neighbourhood clean and safe for everyone. You can host a clean up event on City property including:

  • parks
  • trails
  • parking lots
  • alleyways
  • streets

The City discourages clean ups around water because of the danger to volunteers. If you want to host a clean up event near a waterfall, pond or along a shoreline, you must register your event with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Program. This program will ensure you have appropriate safety information and liability coverage for volunteers.

  1. Pick an area in your neighbourhood to clean up and register your event.
  2. Pick up your supplies at the location you selected on the registration form.
  3. Run your event and dispose of any waste as indicated on your registration form.
  4. Report your success by filling out the Community Improvement Report.

Find volunteers

  • Encourage your friends, family and neighbours to join in your clean up event. 
  • Print some Team Up to Clean Up posters (PDF, 340 KB). Ask permission to post them on community bulletin boards in grocery stores, retail businesses or local recreation facilities.
  • Use your Facebook page and Twitter to invite friends. Post your event on our Facebook page.

Choose a location

Choose an area where you've noticed a lot of litter. Here are some location ideas for your clean up event:

  • Sporting events
  • Neighbourhood streets
  • Vacant lots or parking lots (make sure you have permission from the property owner)
  • Parks, trails or play areas

We discourage clean ups near busy streets due to safety concerns.

Set the date

Arrange a date and time that will ensure a good turnout of volunteers. Set a rain date in case of bad weather. 

Pick up your supplies

We offer the following clean up supplies to all groups who register for Team Up to Clean Up and other City of Hamilton Clean & Green programs:

  • orange litter bags
  • recycling bags
  • work gloves
  • graffiti wipes

Arrange for a volunteer to pick up your supplies from the Municipal Service Centre you selected on your application form. Municipal Service Centres are open between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays).

Safety tips

  • Visit the clean up location before your clean up to look for possible hazards.
  • Arrange for adult supervision if you have youth volunteers.
  • Make sure volunteers are safe during the event.
  • Wear a safety vest or bright clothing so volunteers can find you easily in an emergency.
  • Have all volunteers work in pairs or small groups.
  • Ensure all volunteers wear work gloves and closed toe shoes.
  • Have young volunteers ask an adult first if they are unsure about picking up a piece of litter.
  • Remind volunteers to wash hands before eating and at the end of the day.
  • Keep sunscreen and insect repellent on hand.
  • Make sure all volunteers drink water and keep hydrated.
  • Suspend the clean up during bad weather (fog, thunder and lightening).

Hazardous items

Do not allow volunteers to pick up anything that could be hazardous to their health. This includes:

  • hypodermic needles
  • syringes
  • jagged glass or other sharp objects
  • animal carcasses
  • urine bottles
  • heavy objects
  • air brakes

If you come across any hazardous items, flag them and call 905-546-2489.

The litter you collect from your Team Up to Clean Up event should be placed curbside at your house on your waste collection day. All litter must be put in orange Team Up to Clean Up bags to be exempt from your curbside garbage limits. These bags are only available to groups who have registered with Team Up to Clean Up and other City of Hamilton Clean & Green programs. Do not use your trash tags on these bags. 

You can put out as much recycling as you need on your waste collection day. Place recycling in your blue box or the clear plastic bags provided by Team Up to Clean Up.