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zz_line.gif (2079 bytes)SPECIAL EVENTS

Neighborhood Clean-Up Days

One of the most effective places to distribute public education information is in the neighborhood environment. Neighbors talk to one another over the fence, share gardening tips, and often share information on where to get products and how to dispose of them. Neighborhoods lend themselves to a clean-up day where residents can clear their cupboards of pesticide products.

This event, which would take place in fall or early winter to coincide with the end of the growing season, would be an excellent opportunity to educate residents on proactive steps to prevent pesticides from harming water quality. The day could be co-sponsored by a city or county waste collection department/hazardous waste collection facility to easily facilitate the actual disposal of materials.

Neighbors could undertake activities such as collecting old and unused pesticide products, stenciling prevention messages on curbs near storm drains, or scheduling gardening days for the spring when the neighborhood can share large quantities of pesticide products.

Your district could offer information on how to conduct a neighborhood clean-up day with the district or a city/county waste collection department serving as the disposal agency. The guide could be a one-page flyer that gives residents suggestions on coordinating their own neighborhood event. The flyer could be available through local stores, civic groups or by request from your facility.

There are several ways to promote this event to residents of the neighborhood where the clean-up will take place. Flyers can be posted in busy locations such as banks, post offices, churches, stores, and area schools. Visit garden centers in the neighborhood and ask if you can leave a handful of flyers promoting the event on checkout counters or on a community update table.

You can also enlist the help of the groups that are participating in the neighborhood clean-up to promote the event. Beginning two to three weeks before the clean-up date, ask these groups to distribute flyers at community meetings and gatherings. The flyers can be left on porch steps of homes in the neighborhood.

For local newspapers, contact the calendar editor and ask to have the
event promoted as a public service. Most calendar sections will run a brief description of the event and a listing of where to call for more information at no charge. Be aware that many newspapers need information two to six weeks prior to the event date.

Evaluation of Method

Pros: This public education tactic is simple to promote, and includes proactive prevention projects.

Cons: Staff time and possible disposal costs.

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