Community Cleanup

Congratulations for taking action! Keeping our neighborhoods clean and healthy is important not just for our families, but for all living creatures around. Less litter means less risk for wildlife and less trash polluting water bodies. In case you need volunteers for organizing your own cleanup or you just wish to contact your Area Leader to volunteer yourself (or your group) please email us at alicia@keeploudounbeautiful.org. We welcome families, schools, scout troops and other community service organizations.

How to conduct a Community Cleanup

If you need supplies and safety materials, we encourage you to contact our area leader coordinator to see if she may be able to help by loaning supplies for your cleanup efforts and/or soliciting additional volunteers.  This also helps KLB obtain statistical information via a cleanup report to show the work being done in your community. You can also go to any of the community centers around the county for orange or blue bags.

Bluemont community center- 33846 Snickersville Turnpike Bluemont

Claude Moore visitor center- 21544 Old Vestal’s gap rd. Sterling

Dulles South- 24950 Riding center dr. South Riding

Loudoun Valley- 320 W. School st. Purcellville

Lovettsville community center- 57 E. Broad way Lovettsville

Lucketts community center- 42361 Lucketts Rd. Lucketts

Philomont community center- 36592 Jeb Stuart Rd. Philomont

Litter Cleanup Equipment you will need:

  • Gloves: To protect your hands
  • Vests: To make you visible, especially along roads
  • Grabbers: To retrieve hard-to-reach litter
  • Color coded bags so you can separate trash and recycling. We suggest:
    • Blue Bags: For Recycling (Water bottles, Metals, Glass, Paper)
    • Orange or Black Bags: For Trash (Everything else)

Why do we encourage you to separate recyclables?

Because most litter these days can be recycled, so separating trash from recycling will reduce drastically the amount of trash that will end in landfills with no further use. However, in order for those recyclables to actually be recycled, they must be empty and mostly dry (If they are muddy or extremely dirty its better to dispose them as trash so they don’t contaminate good batches of recyclables) Also, you will need to dispose of them loose in your own recyclable bin at home or take them to the nearest Recycling Drop-Off Center https://www.loudoun.gov/404/Recycling-Centers-Materials-Accepted Please remember to open the bags, dispose the recyclables in the proper container and take the plastic bags with you to reuse them for future cleanups. If you leave the recyclables in bags (Either at home or at the Drop-Off Centers) they will be disposed as trash and all your effort separating will be wasted.   

If you are still hesitant about this, here is a document that will help you understand in great detail the benefits of it:

Reasons to recycle at Litter Cleanups

Illustration of circular economy

2020 Litter Cleanup Results

(Not even a pandemic could stop us :P)

2021 Litter Clean Up Results: 

101 cleanups, 870 bags of trash, 192 bags of recycling, 183 tires, 1,074 volunteers, 165 miles of roads, trails and parks cleaned up.

  • Working in teams is helpful here as team members can be in charge of disposing properly each color. Orange/Black trash, Blue recycling. 
  •  (Remember that recyclables should be empty and dry as possible, no muddy bottles please!)
  • Consolidate your bags as much as possible. The fewer the bags the better.

So, what do I do with the recycling bags?

  • Move all the trash into as little bags as possible (Consolidate them) to save them for future cleanups. Less unnecessary plastic to our planet!
  • To dispose just a small amount, we recommend to take it with you and toss it loose into your recycling bin (Never bag the recycling)
  • To dispose bigger amounts; you can take the bags to the nearest Recycling Drop-Off Center (Again, open the bags, dump everything in the proper bin and take the bags with you) https://www.loudoun.gov/404/Recycling-Centers-Materials-Accepted

…and with the trash bags?

  • Leave the orange bags along the roadside, well back from the pavement or road surface, in small piles; don’t use driveways or private property.  
  • Take note of the location (cross roads) and fill out a clean up report so our area leader coordinator can contact VDOT for pick up of items and bags. 

Final Notes

  • Electronics and large, unwieldy items must be recycled separately. PLEASE DO NOT BAG THEM. (Recycling opportunities here)
  • Please consolidate all bags you used and keep the dirty ones for the next cleanup
  • Educating our communities is the best way to prevent littering. Here is an educational document we prepared, so you can share it with them: Litter Prevention
  • If you have any questions, please contact us to info@keeploudounbeautiful.org. We will be happy to help you!