Have you always wanted to host your own beach clean up but you don’t know where to start? 

Action for Dolphins has created a handy guide to help you.


1. The first step is to set your date and location. 

Things to consider: 

  • Is there another beach clean at a different location I could coordinate times with? 
  • Will my date clash with any other events in the area? 
  • Which beaches need the most attention?
  • Choose a beach that is close enough to a city or town so you get people attending
  • Pick up a beach that has good accessibility (eg. parking, ramps down to the shore).

Choose the time of your event wisely. Don’t schedule the event too early or late in the day to ensure people are more willing to attend. Beach cleans usually run for 1-2 hours and weekends get higher attendance. 

2. Check with the local council 

  • Does the council allow beach cleans?
  • Does the council require you to hold certain insurance? 
  • Does the council require you to fill out a Risk Assessment? 
  • Organise with the council how the waste will be collected at the end of the event. Can they send someone from their local rubbish crew to collect at the conclusion of the event?
  • They may be able to lend you some cleaning equipment such as bins, bags or gloves
  • Ask if the local council can provide a sharps container, otherwise you will need to buy one.


1. Create a Facebook event page. 

Ensure it includes the following details:

  • Event times
  • Accurate location
  • Description of event
  • Cleaning equipment required by the attendees (bags and gloves)
  • Other items for attendees to bring (closed-toe shoes, water bottle, sunscreen)
  • An eye-catching and clear event photo 
  • Make Action for Dolphins a co-host if an AFD staff member can be present on the day
  • Send the Facebook event to AFD and we will share it on social media to help boost attendance
  • Let attendees know whether it is an accessible event.

Here is an example of an event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1282083071949429/

2. Share the event! 

Invite your friends on Facebook, and share the event in other networks or your workplace. Post in the Facebook event every few days to keep people engaged.

3. Promotion 

It’s great if you can promote the event in other ways. Some ideas include:

  • Posting on local community boards
  • Telling people about it at other events
  • Ask your council to list in on their events page
  • Posting about it on social media
  • Create a flyer and ask to put it up in businesses nearby.

4. Recruit a few key volunteers to help you on the day. 

Ideally, you will have 2-3 key volunteers helping you with the event. They can assist with organising, set up and pack down and talking to attendees on the day. 

Ensure at least one of your key volunteers or yourself holds a valid First Aid Certification. Only this person/s should handle needles/syringes and put them in the ‘sharps’ container.  

5. Organise any equipment for the day:

Equipment required:

  • Spare bags, gloves and pickers for attendees that don’t bring them. Ask your council’s waste collectors if they can lend you some. 
  • Approx. 5 bins/ tubs to sort the rubbish into different recyclables (hard plastic, soft plastic, paper, aluminium, glass, non-recyclables)
  • 1 tarp to tip rubbish onto to allow sorting
  • Sharps container – the council’s waste collectors should have one spare 
  • Print out of your Risk Assessment if you have one

On the day 

1. Arrive half an hour early to set up the sorting station. The sorting station usually involves a tarp in the middle with bins around it to allow sorting of the different types of waste. 

2. At the start of the event run a safety briefing. This should include information on:

  • Toilets and water nearby
  • Point out the volunteers present
  • The exact area of the beach to be cleaned
  • What to do if sharps are found (eg. needles) – find the person with First Aid to collect and dispose of in sharps disposal box
  • Warn attendees not to go into the water at any point
  • For minors to be accompanied by an adult at all times 
  • Walkway, roads or bike paths hazards
  • Leaving the living environment alone (eg. jellyfish, crabs, birds, plants) 
  • Natural element risks – wind, rain, UV exposure 

3. Collecting litter data. 

Once you’ve sorted the rubbish, there are websites to input the data. In Australia head to www.tangaroablue.org/databse.html to upload the data. 

After the event 

1. Send through any photos of the day to us so we can promote the awesome job you’ve done! (Make sure everyone photographed has given permission as some photos may be put on social media).

2. If collated litter data, upload it into the relevant online website. 

Have fun!