Coastal Clean-up manual

Catalyse Manual – Coastal Clean-up

Points to Note

  • This document has been drafted to facilitate a large scale activity in which a stretch (several KMs) of beach is taken up which then has to be divided into multiple zones could be cleaned at the same time. Your activity maybe smaller or larger, please plan accordingly.
  • This document has been drafted with the help of many volunteers who have done these activities, if you have any feedback, share them to help improve the document.

Parameters to be considered:

  • Purpose: Beach cleanup with segregation and properly disposal.
  • Scale: Start with identifying the beach zones that needs to cleaned. Number of volunteers expected to be involved.
  • Time Frame: This parameter varies based on scalability of the event. It is suggested that a minimum of one month is required to plan and execute a beach cleanup of smaller scale (500 to 1000 volunteers). Two months will be required to organize an event of larger scale.
  • Permission: It has to be sought from City Municipal Corporation (Solid Waste Management Department) and City Police.
  • Budget: One Bio-Degradable bag costs Rs.6 (approx), a pair of gloves costs Rs.27 (approx) and a Gunny bag (for collecting glass items) costs around Rs.50. Water can Rs.25 per /can. These are the basic requirements for organizing a cleanup.

1-2 Months before:

  • Permission letter should be submitted to the Superintendent Engineer, Solid Waste Department (or similar official) at the City Corporation Office. “No Objection Certificate” (NoC) should be sought from that department. It normally takes one or two weeks to get the official confirmation. NoC has to be submitted to the Commissioner of Police, Law and Order. Approval letter from the Police Department will generally be given to the cleanup organizing team only 2 days before the D-day.
  • Based on the scale of the event, support from different organizations such as corporate companies, schools, colleges and NGOs need to be garnered.
  • OPTIONAL: Identify Sponsors, Media Partners, Logistics Partner and other Organizations who can support the event.

3-4 weeks before:

  • Call for volunteers to be a part of the organizing team. Based on the chosen beach zones, the number of coordinators required per zone can be determined. Ideally, there should be 2 Zone Coordinators, 4 sub-zone coordinators, 2 registration desk volunteers based on the size of the beach zone.
  • Inspect identified beach zones for different types of garbage and estimate the quantity of the same that is spread across each beach zone. Types of garbage include Plastics, Glass, Bio-Degradable and Non Bio-Degradable items.
  • Optional – Plan for the transportation of volunteers from major places of the city to the venue. It is very important to start the cleanup by 6 AM and complete it maximum before 8 AM, as it becomes difficult to work under hot sun.

Form the following teams

  • Registration Desk: Registration of walk-in participants and participants registered online should be done here. Distribution of Gloves and Bio-Degradable Bags (materials) need to be taken care by this team
  • Zonal Coordinators: Oversee the activities in the respective beach zones and coordinate with the mobile support team when there is shortage of any of the materials required for the cleanup.
  • Sub-Zone Coordinators: Distribute additional Bio-degradable bags, Gloves and water when required. Estimate the number of materials (Gloves, Bags and Water) required in a timely manner, based on the number of participants, and inform the Zonal Coordinators whenever the materials are expected to fall short. If any other refreshments are available, it will also be distributed by this team.
  • Mobile Support Team (MST): Buffer materials should be available with this team and they should be easily accessible to all the zone-coordinators. In case of shortage of materials, MST must reach the respective beach zone as soon as possible. Depending on the size of the beach zones, this team can be divided into two or three teams. Car or Tata Ace can be used for carrying the materials.

1 Week before:

  • Each zone coordinator should inspect the venue (for second time) to see if there is drastic change in types or quantity of trash that is spread across each beach zones.
  • Conduct a core team meeting and clearly explain the role of each and every individual in the team.
  • Schedule a message and mail reminder to all the registered participants about the event.
  • Collect the zone officers (City Municipal Corporation) details from Solid Waste Department to coordinate with them for the disposal of trash on the D day.
  • Arrange 2 to 3 photographer volunteers per zone

3 Days before:

  • For every 30 volunteers one 25 liters of water can should be ordered.
  • Arrange required numbers of tables and chairs to be put at each beach zone (for registration desks).
  • Meet the coordinators and explain the plan to them.
  • Arrange for a standby Tata Ace vehicle.
  • Ensure permission letter from the City Commissioner office is obtained.
  • Ensure information is given to all Zonal Officers (City Municipal Corporation) about the cleanup and arrangement for disposal of trash has been made.
  • After receiving the permission letters – take photocopies and share it with other zone coordinators to avoid any untoward issues on D-day!
  • Schedule a message and mail reminder to all the registered participants about the event.

1 Day before:

  • Schedule a message and mail reminder to all the registered participants about the event.
  • The Registration desk should have details of all the participants registered online. The list should be sorted in alphabetical order. Template to capture details such as Name, Contact No. and Email ID of the walk-in participants should also be available at the desk.
  • Sort out the materials required for each beach zone, group them and label them for respective beach zones. Checklist of the same along with the materials should be given to the each zone coordinator in early hours of the D day.

On D day:

  • Coordinate with the coordinators and transport the materials to the venue by 5AM.
  • Set up the registration desk and be ready to receive participants from 5:30AM.
  • Place Signs, banners and posters up for easy direction towards the clean up area
  • Allocate few volunteers to guide the participants to the registration desk at each location.
  • Distribute gloves and bio-degradable bags to the participants at the registration desk (as per the no. communicated by core team)
  • Be courteous with any partners and participants. Be polite with all the stakeholders in case of any arguments.
  • Coordinate with municipal Corporation officers for the disposal of trash at all zones/locations.
  • At the end of the activity – take a group photo with all the volunteers (with the garbage bags). IF this is a Daan Utsav activity click a picture with a Happy Dot
  • Coordinate with all the photographers and collect the pictures before they leave the event.
  • Select few good pictures and send it to media houses for the post event coverage.
  • Ensure no supplies, or trash collected is left behind
  • Optional: Provide refreshments and drinks to volunteers

Addressing the volunteers on D-Day

  • Importance of the clean up
  • Precautions and rules of the clean up
  • In case of segregation, instruction to collect different types of waste in different bags should be given to all the participants.
  • Segregation instruction needs to be given at regular intervals so that participants who are confused and anyone arriving late would also know it.
  • Inform all the participants not to fill the bags to its full capacity. Some space should be left to knot the bags.
  • Inform about help desk – person in case of doubts, queries or emergencies throughout the clean up
  • Inform meeting and ending point & time for volunteers to assemble together > group photo to be taken
  • Safety hazards while collecting trash

Documentation of and follow up after the clean up

  • Estimate the weight by types of trash and overall weight of trash collected by the group
  • Collect volunteer attendance across each location in prescribed format: Name, mobile, email
  • No. of volunteers, no. of hours etc. Should be consolidated
  • A summary report should be shared with all volunteers and stakeholders the same day
  • Send out a Thank You email to all volunteers along with a volunteer feedback (google form) on the same day, request them to share their stories on social media
  • Share the pictures and videos with the Bhumi team
  • Responsibilities of Coordinators

Each zone/location will have the following items

  • Waste Segregation Banner – detailing types of segregation.
  • Registration desk (On platform. exactly centre of the zone/location) – a table, list of registered volunteers (in alphabetical order), Registration template (on the spot registration), 4 to 5 pens, Garbage bags, Gloves
  • Help Desk 1 – (Near Registration Desk) – A table, water cans, 1 bubble top water dispenser, few empty bottles/cups, additional garbage covers
  • Help Desk 2 – Optional if the cleanup area is large

Registration Desk: 2 Volunteers per Zone/location

  • Volunteers registered online will be ticked on the sheet while walk-in participants will fill the details on a registration template – Name, Mobile no and mail ID
  • Ensure registration process is done swiftly and no volunteers are made to stand in a long queue. Get the assistance of Sub-Zone coordinators during the start.
  • Gloves will be provided along with bags in the registration desk by the sub-zone coordinators. One glove/person and one bag will be shared by 2 Volunteers.
  • Inform each volunteer what “Garbage type” they are supposed to collect. Types 1) Plastics 2) Bottles 3) Others.
  • When there are more volunteers than required please map extra volunteers to other zones/location with prior approval from the zone/location coordinator
  • Certificates will be provided only to the volunteers who report at the desk after the clean up and return the gloves and the activity document and the group photograph should be submitted at :
  • Return all the registration related documents to the respective Zone/location Coordinator at the end.

Sub-Zone Coordinators (Option): 4 per Zone

  • Spread out the volunteers evenly within the zone/location.
  • Carry additional bags and assist the volunteers with additional bags in place of filled bags.
  • Dump all the filled bags at one place within the zone. It can be moved to the collection point at the end of the activity
  • Post garbage collection, line up all the volunteers to form a chain and move the garbage to the collection point. Note – Each bag can hold up to 8KG. So it can be difficult for one person to move it from the source to destination.
  • One volunteer should manage the help desk

Zone/Location Coordinators: 2 per Zone

  • Carry a copy of all permission letters
  • Collect all the required materials for your respective zone/Location by 5 a.m.
  • Set up all Registration & Help Desk with the help of your sub-zone volunteers before 5:30 a.m.
  • Ensure swift movement of volunteers from the respective parking zone to the registration desk
  • Material (bags) coordination with Sub-Zone/location coordinators
  • Provide filled garbage bags count update for your zone/location by the end of the activity.

Media Coordinator

  • Allocate Photographers to each location
  • Take photos before and after the clean up, of volunteers in action, group photo etc.
  • After the event ensure all photographs are collected and handed over to the main organiser IMMEDIATELY after the event

Important Instructions for the letter:

  • Print your letter. To make your letter look as professional as possible, only use black ink and print in a legible font and size (Times New Roman 12 pt).
  • You can edit and modify as per your requirements
  • Fix any mistakes by proofreading and then proofread again.
  • Rewrite the highlighted portions as appropriate for your city/activity


The Commissioner/Mayor,
City Corporation,
Street Address,
City, State 000000


Respected Sir/Mam,

Subject: Coastal Cleanup as part of Event Eg:Daan Utsav – Joy of Giving Week 2016

Daan Utsav is India’s ‘festival of giving’! Launched in 2009, the festival is celebrated every year, in the week including Gandhi Jayanti, i.e., October 2-8, and brings together Indians from all walks of life, to celebrate “giving”.

We are promoting volunteering among young people across the city. To celebrate this festival, every person is engaging in few hours of volunteering during the Daan Utsav celebrations (October 2 – October 8).

As part of volunteering activities this year, we are conducting a Coastal Cleanup in association with (in case of any local group) on Date morning between 6 a.m and 9 a.m.

This activity is likely to engage over No. of volunteers volunteers in various zones, with around 150-200 assigned to each of these zones:
List of Zones

We look forward to your continued support. We promise to perform the cleanup peacefully without disrupting the public. Thank you.
Yours truly,
Your Name
Your contact information