By Tasnim Hasan


The pandemic has brought the world to a halt, but it hasn’t stopped litter from accumulating. With the lockdowns in place, cleanups haven’t been happening as regularly as they once did and our streets and public spaces need our help.

Right now there is an opportunity for residents to come together for a smaller, block-based cleanup and care for their neighborhood safely.

Here’s a few tips for your safe, socially-distant cleanup:

1. Always wear a mask. It will not only protect you, but also minimize the risk of the others catching the virus. If the weather is hot or humid, be sure to plan for an early morning or evening cleanup so that the mask is less of a nuisance.

2. Use your own gloves. Single-use gloves are an option and are available at most drugstores and grocery stores. However, they add to the volume of trash we create. If you have your own pair of gloves that you can launder after the cleanup, without risking the outside of the gloves coming into contact with other surfaces or your skin, that’s a more sustainable option!

3. Bring extra trash bags. Yes, more than you think. It’s likely been a while since your street or park was last cleaned so you should be prepared to pickup more litter than you would on a normal cleanup day.

4. Work in small groups. Ideally, recruit members of your household or those you’ve already been in contact with for your cleanup. If this isn’t possible, make sure to maintain a six foot distance (about the length of a bed) from your neighbor, friend, or cleanup partner.


Any debris you collect and bag should be put out with

your trash set out in front of your home or building.


Don’t forget to take photos during the cleanup and

#mybeautifulphl. We love seeing your beautiful work!


To contact us with your cleanup and safety questions, e-mail

(Originally posted in July 2020)