A community clean-up is a fantastic way to bring communities together for a common goal – to improve public spaces by removing litter and unsightly objects. Clean-ups are commonly organised for public spaces, like beaches, parks, roadsides and greenbelts. Not only are these events great for community bonding and getting to know fellow residents, but they have a massive impact on environmental health and the well-being of local ecosystems.
The benefits of a community clean-up
A space that was once covered with trash and waste can be turned into a clean and vibrant place where the community can enjoy its natural beauty. These initiatives can create meaningful change in a variety of public spaces, where participants can take pride in their hard work and commitment to the contribution of a better society.
Getting a community involved in a clean-up can create awareness of the importance of recycling. It also creates a unified gathering that will ensure that common areas are safe and clean. Plastics, scrap metal, styrofoam food trays and glass are among the most common discarded items collected and removed during a community clean-up.
Once these materials have been gathered, they are sorted and sent to local recycling facilities that will process the materials. This helps to minimise single use waste and contributes to a better environment through decreased pollution. It also beats sending the waste to a landfill, where it can still contribute to environmental degradation.
Studies on community clean-ups
Multiple studies have proven that clean-ups are important for supporting tourism and local economies. These events also ensure that delicate wildlife is protected by raising awareness of plastic pollution within communities. Litter can impact the image of an area and create a space that is unwelcoming and just plain ‘ugly’.If a public space is clean, it increases the value of an area and contributes to a safe and welcoming space for all.
Waste pollution is a major problem, especially in our oceans, rivers and beaches. Having clean seas, rivers and beaches in South Africa is vital for the community and for tourism. The South African government has legislated environmental protection laws for waste management to minimise litter in natural spaces. However, it is also up to the community to do their part in maintaining clean spaces in their local areas.
Realising that litter is a problem is one step closer to creating a cleaner and more sustainable environment. By partnering with community members and local cleaning companies, a meaningful change can be made to ensure that all areas can be enjoyed and to protect wildlife from pollution.
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