Homes and yards must be kept free of rubbish and of any unwanted materials such as old drums, refrigerators, washing machines or car bodies which can collect water. To do this, a special clean-up should be organised once a year or more often if necessary. This is very important in cyclone areas because this kind of rubbish can get blown around and cause damage to buildings and injuries to people.

By removing unwanted items, yards will look better and pests such as rats, mice, cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes will not be able to live and breed.

The community clean-up will need to be discussed at a full community meeting. The Council and other community members will need to know why the clean-up is needed, and about its benefits. Everyone should be encouraged to get involved and help to clean up all the places that need it.

Plans must be made which set out the day the clean-up will happen, which community members are going to help, and how it will be done.

Posters and reminders during community meetings and can be used to advertise the clean-up. This publicity should be started 3 weeks before collection day. If people cannot read, the posters will need to explain the message with pictures.

When doing clean-ups of this kind, it is necessary for householders to place all their unwanted items at the front of their houses near the road edge. The collection vehicles then pick it up and take it away to the rubbish tip. It is not the pick-up team’s job to go into houses and carry out the item/s.

Large items like car bodies will probably need a special trip to get them out to the tip. These items are often difficult to handle and the community may need to use a front-end loader or similar equipment to pick them up. If this is not possible, it may be necessary to try and break the items up before taking them to the tip.

The community may wish to consider hiring the necessary equipment to do this or any other jobs around the community that need large or special equipment, such as tip maintenance. Equipment required for this kind of work might include bulldozers or front-end loaders.

If a local authority supplies a rubbish service to the community, it may agree to help in a community and yard clean-up. However, the EHP will need to discuss these arrangements with the EHO so that plans can be made.