Great American Cleanup
Keep Texas Beautiful is proud to participate in Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup (GAC), the nation’s largest community improvement program, taking place annually each spring from March through May.
Supply requests are now closed for 2022. To request supplies for your community improvement event(s), we ask that you fill out this quick form to register your cleanup and get your supplies. Be sure to order supplies 3 weeks prior to your scheduled cleanup to ensure timely shipment. Events scheduled further than three weeks away will receive supplies prior to the event.
MONTHLY CLEANUP THEMES
To help inspire events in your community, we've created monthly themes.
- March: Waterways Cleanup Month presented by Dos Equis
Kicks off on the first Saturday in March with the Great Texas River Cleanup.
- April: Don't Mess With Texas Trash-Off
The program supports efforts to clear Texas roadsides of litter and includes cleanups taking place April 1-30.
- May: Parks and Trails Month
Beautify public spaces in your community.
Start a Cleanup!
Who: Texans who want to get involved in their local community.
What: The Great American Cleanup is a program to support the efforts of KTB and KAB Affiliates, nonprofits, volunteers, corporations, scout groups and communities to join forces and beautify communities through beautification events, recycling events, litter cleanups and more. Registered participants will have access to the online event toolkit and KTB affiliates will receive trash bags, recycle bags, gloves and a banner.
Where: Great American Cleanup events can take place in any public area in your community needing some attention. We recommend parks, schools, main street/downtown, watershed areas, and roadways.
Ways to get involved:
Contact your local KTB Affiliate
Find your local affiliate here.
Join a Great American Cleanup in your community
Check out Great American Cleanup events happening here.
Organize your own Great American Cleanup
Great American Cleanup Toolkit
Ready to organize your own Great American Cleanup event? Here's what to do next:
Review COVID-19 Guidelines
When picking up litter, KTB recommends participants do so responsibly and at their comfort level. Please have participants wear a face mask and disposable gloves, and use a litter grabber (when available). Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from passersby and those not from your immediate household.
When participants are finished collecting litter, please make sure their trash bags are securely tied to protect sanitation workers. Advise them to immediately wash their hands with soap and water and hand sanitizer after collecting litter. Please have them dispose of their single-use face masks and disposable gloves properly and in the waste bin. Please follow all CDCl guidelines surrounding COVID-19.
- Printable Flyer! PPE Litter Cleanup Guidance - How to properly pick up littered personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Printable Flyer! Individual Cleanup Guidance - Recommendations for individuals and households to participate in cleanups.
Additional guidelines and resources can be found on the KTB COVID-19 page.
Pick a Project
The Great American Cleanup prompts individuals to take greater responsibility for their local environment by conducting grassroots community service projects that engage volunteers, local businesses, and civic leaders. A successful Great American Cleanup project must fulfill the needs of the local community. You can host a community cleanup, a greening and beautification event, conduct a community-wide educational workshop, or host a recycling event.
Register Your Event with Keep Texas Beautiful
Use this form to request your cleanup supplies and materials. You must also register your event in our events calendar. Affiliates must sign into the Affiliate portal to do so, while non-affiliate members must submit manually online.
Contact Your Community
Encourage friends, family and colleagues to get involved and help organize the cleanup. Create a work event or a Facebook event so interested volunteers can RSVP and you can easily communicate with attendees. Spread the word through email, social media and e-invites. You can also print and post these event flyers in the area.
- New! Social media templates
- Great American Cleanup Social Media Guide
- Value of In-Kind Materials
- How to Wrap Up your Cleanup
- Volunteer/Affiliate Fact Sheet
- Local Community Press Release
- KAB Great American Cleanup Volunteer Guide
- KAB Great American Cleanup Volunteer Guide (Spanish)
- KAB Great American Cleanup 20 Ways to Clean Your Block Guide
- New! Webinar Recording: Planning a Successful Waterways Cleanup
- New! Waterways Cleanup Month Flyer
Ready to start cleaning up? Here's what to do next.
Arrive early to set up and post appropriate signage for attendees. At your check-in station, ensure you have pens, pencils, and sign-in sheets ready for your volunteers.
What to Tell Volunteers
This will depend on the type of event you're hosting. Be prepared for everything. Make sure group leaders have a volunteer welcome and safety speech to give. For cleanups, provide a volume to weight estimation sheet and data card. Consider other things you might want from volunteers, such as a photo release waiver.
Establish a point-person to stay at the check-in station in case of health emergencies or any late arrivals.
Document the Cleanup
Take before and after photos of the cleanup site as well as shots of your volunteers in action and a final group picture with all of the trash collected. You can submit these with your data card or tag @KeepTXBeautiful online with #GreatAmericanCleanup.
If you're hosting a cleanup, remind volunteers to review the information they entered into the Data Cards and then make sure they submit! Collect all completed paper data forms to submit to Keep Texas Beautiful. Ensure all trash is left in the designated drop-off location and that no materials are left behind as you leave the cleanup location.
- Finished sweeping up? Here's what to do next.
Submit your Wrap-Up Report
Wrap-up reports must be submitted TWO WEEKS after your event. After your volunteers submit their data online, encourage them to share it on social media and with their local press! We have a great resource to help you with closing out your cleanup - How to Wrap Up your Cleanup.
If you have any questions, or would like to share photos or highlights, feel free to reach out to Keep Texas Beautiful:
Mail: Keep Texas Beautiful
Attn: Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off
8850 Business Park Drive, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759
Survey your cleanup team post-event. Encourage everyone to share experiences, stories and pictures about what they saw. This might encourage others to attend future events—and now is the time to start planning. Let them know about your next cleanup; get volunteers onboard while their enthusiasm is high!
Send out an email saying, “Look what we did!” Include how many friends, family and community members joined in and the weight of trash were collected. Celebrate your accomplishment as a cleanup organizers and ocean advocate. Thank you!
Wrap-Up Report Resources
Looking for more information about how to enter your cleanup data? The Event Wrap-Up Guide includes information about how to use the Litter Database and submit your event data.
Great American Cleanup Impact
The data in the following infographic includes Great American Cleanup and all other activities performed during the period of March 1 - May 31.