Cleanup Safety Tips

Excerpted from Guidance for Neighborhood Cleanups and tailored to Keep El Sobrante Clean and Beautiful.

To protect your health and slow the spread of the coronavirus, please follow the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. In addition to the CDC guidelines, the Coastal Commission recommends the following practices for cleaning up litter and other debris. Remember that you are volunteering at your own risk.* 

Cleanups start at our own front doors. 


• If you are sick in any way, DO NOT go out for a cleanup. 

• Assemble your own cleanup gear, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This should include trash bags or buckets, gloves, face mask, a trash grabber or tongs (if available), sun protection, and make sure to wear close-toed shoes to protect against sharp objects. 

Notice: If you need equipment, please come to the El Sobrante Public Library starting at 10 AM. We will have garbage bags, vests, buckets and gloves available for your use. We will also have a limited supply of grabbers to loan you for the day. Please return grabbers and vests to the library by noon. 

• Wear bright colors or a vest so you will be visible to any cars or bicycles in the area. If you are cleaning up nearby streets or nature areas, please be mindful of traffic and your surroundings.

• Please check the air quality in your area and if it is unhealthy, please do not go out for a cleanup. Also, please check this web site for updates.

During cleanup

• Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from everyone you encounter, even if you are wearing a mask. 

• Wear gloves – disposable or reusable – and dispose or wash them immediately after your cleanup. 

• Avoid touching your face. 

• Do not pick up sharp objects, especially syringes! Take a picture and let us know the location. 

• Don’t pick up anything too heavy or anything that you will not be able to fit into your home debris bin. If you come upon a large item, take a photo and let us know where it is. We will have a volunteer to come by and pick it up or report it to the county. 

• In parks and natural areas, follow all posted signage, stay on trails, and limit activities to areas open to the public.

• Do not pick up or disturb natural objects, such as leaves, nests, or eggs. 

• Avoid over-exertion, sunburn, heat exhaustion, and dehydration. When in doubt, come in early! 

• Unfortunately, you may find used gloves, masks, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) among litter. DO NOT PICK UP ANY PPE without gloves or a grabber. 

Wrapping up

• Dispose of trash in your home debris bins. If there is no room in your bins, please bring bags of trash and recyclables to the El Sobrante Public Library by noon, where our volunteers will dispose of it for you. 

• Dispose or wash gloves immediately after your cleanup. To properly remove disposable gloves, grab the glove opening near your wrist and pull towards your fingers, then turn the glove inside out before disposing. 

• Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as possible, and use hand sanitizer in the meantime if soap and water are unavailable. 

• Show us your cleanup! Send photos (before and after) of your team and cleanup to [email protected]

* By participating you understand and agree that you are personally responsible for your health and safety, and no party connected with the cleanups is liable for the consequences of your participation. Have fun and remember, safety first! Thank you for extending your care and compassion to our communities at this time! Stay healthy. 

5 thoughts on “Cleanup Safety Tips

    • Hi, Susan, I just wanted to let you know that we included that link among the resources on the upper right-hand side of the web page. Thanks for the tip and for all your help!

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  • Sharon Miller

    Hi Chris
    Is it possible to print the guidelines “Clean up Safety Tips” without printing the web page? I don’t see this page when I hit Read, Download and Print. Thanks.

    • Hi, Sharon, sorry for the delay in my response. 1) this is the same info as on the back of the postcard, so you can also use that. I think the postcard might even have more info? 2) I downloaded it from this link and it worked great: Just go to the bottom of the page, click download and you’ll get the PDF of the resource list, then you can print it. I didn’t try printing directly from the page but I have a feeling that you’re right and you would get the masthead and right-hand column along with the PDF. Good luck, see you on the Third Saturday.

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