Clean Up Australia Day

Clean Up Australia Day: Bringing A Country Together To Conserve Our Environment

Clean Up Australia Day, the largest environmental event in Australia, is held every year on the first Sunday in March. Clean Up Australia Day is a beloved event that mobilizes Australians to protect the environment by cleaning litter and eliminating waste in their communities.

Clean Up Australia Day
Clean Up Australia Day

The History of Clean Up Australia Day

Clean Up Australia Day was born out of the experiences and observations of Ian Kiernan. Ian Kiernan was an avid sailor who often encountered pollution in the oceans. He was also frustrated by the litter and rubbish that spoiled these waterways.

Ian was inspired to act and organised a community clean-up event in Sydney Harbour, with the help of his friends, including Kim McKay, co-founder. The small event was a great success and showed the power of community action. Ian realized that if Sydney was mobilized, then so could the rest Australia.

Ian was the founder of Clean Up Australia Day in 1990. Clean Up Australia Day was the first event of its type to be held at a national level. It exceeded all expectations, and has spawned an environmental movement that is growing across Australia. On that first day, over 300,000 volunteers cleaned up beaches, waterways and parks.

Purpose and Objectives

Clean Up Australia continues today to mobilize a large number of Australians in the community as environmental volunteers. The key objectives are:

  • Remove and dispose of waste safely from the environment
  • Identification of litter trends and sources
  • Awareness raising about waste problems and solutions
  • Community participation is key to inspiring action
  • Supporting sustainable initiatives to reduce waste

The purpose of the campaign remains unchanged – to unite Australians to tackle environmental problems that we face collectively across this vast brown land.

How can I get involved?

Some ask, ‘Do I have to clean on Clean Up Australia Day’? You can do it whenever you want! Choose your location from Melbourne all the way to Tasmania! Here are some key ways you can participate:

Official Event Days

  • Clean Up Australia Day is always the first Sunday of March (Sunday, 3 March 2024).
  • Schools Clean Up Day (Friday, 1 March 2024).
  • Business Clean Up Day (Tuesday, 27 February 2024).

Organise your own local clean up

You can register and organise a cleanup any day of the year. Sign up online and receive your free Clean-Up kit, complete with bags, gloves and safety instructions.

Join an Existing Local Event

Register to attend a local cleanup by using Cleanup Australia‚Äôs free app or website. This is a great opportunity to get to know your community while helping preserve your local area.

Clean up as you go

Pick up litter when you see it, such as on your daily walk, run or hike, and properly dispose of it to keep the community clean.

Why Register your Participation?

Many people wonder why they need to register. Registering is essential for a number of reasons.

Environmental Benefits

Clean Up Days help reduce litter pollution, which can harm wildlife and ecosystems. With the help of thousands of volunteers, dump sites and other littered spaces are transformed over time into a clean space where nature can thrive and regenerate. The less waste that reaches waterways, the better for our beaches, rivers and marine life.

Health & Wellbeing

You can improve your mental and physical well-being by participating in clean-up events. Exercise and being in green spaces, away from the bustling city, can reduce stress and increase energy. It also improves mood. Volunteers enjoy connecting with other community members who share the same values.

Awareness & Education

Clean Up Days are a great way to raise awareness of the problems associated with rubbish, waste, and environmental responsibility in Australia. This large-scale mobilization generates national media coverage and discussion on these issues. Many volunteers are motivated to change their behavior after seeing the amount of litter collected. Schools Clean Up Day also has a strong focus on educating the next generation.

Clean Up Australia Day River Pollution
Clean Up Australia Day River Pollution

Community Building

Clean Up Days bring people from all walks to the table in order to protect the local environment. The event fosters social cohesion and connections as strangers come together to collect rubbish, and local residents are proud of their neighborhood. Volunteers often describe their team like a large family with children, parents, grandparents, and people from different backgrounds all contributing. Friendships can last a lifetime.

Benefits to the Economy

By keeping communities and public recreational areas clean and free of litter and waste, local councils can save a lot on costs for landfill management and collection. Cleaning up cities, parks, and beaches can also increase tourism, boost property values for residents, and attract new businesses and job opportunities. By preventing pollution, we protect the environmental assets that support sectors such as agriculture and fishing.

Wildlife Protection

A second benefit is that littering and rubbish are less dangerous to domestic and native animals. Animals may get their heads or limbs caught in discarded items such as bottles. They can also get sick due to toxins that leach from waste, or eat plastic thinking it is food. It prevents cruelty to animals and protects biodiversity. Cleanups help the environment thrive and support the wildlife that we love.

Making an Impact in Australia

Clean Up Australia Day is a day that has had a positive impact on the land we call home.

  • Over 30 years, 21+ millions Australians have participated.
  • 376 000 cubic meters of waste removed from neighborhoods and bush
  • Australia has 818,000+ sites that have been cleaned up
  • Environmental issues to be addressed with $44+ Million raised
  • Toyota Australia has planted 2 million native trees

Collectively, people have transformed eye-sores into beautiful community parks. It has cleaned up suburban streets and country creeks. It has prevented over 55,000 tonnes of waste from entering landfills, our waterways and the oceans. Join the rubbish collection in Brisbane or anywhere in Australia.

Clean Up Australia Day is encouraging because it has mobilized a new generation of youths who are becoming more aware of sustainability and ready to tackle the challenge.

Each year, the first of March is a day to bring hope and highlight that we can all make a positive difference, no matter how small.


Clean Up Australia Day shows how everyday citizens can harness the power of their community to make a meaningful difference in the environment. The movement that began more than 30 years ago with a man’s call for action has now become a national sustainability movement.

This Australian tradition brings together people and mobilizes volunteers for the removal of rubbish. It also raises awareness about waste issues, educates future generations, and encourages community interaction. Over the years, millions of people have worked together to reduce littering and pollution. They also prevented tons of waste.

Australians of all backgrounds now participate in this tradition, whether they spend an hour or a whole day working to protect our natural areas for wildlife, future generations, and for our own enjoyment.

Clean Up Australia Day encourages individuals to take action in order to protect places that we cherish from the problems that affect all of us. Clean Up Australia Day continues to raise awareness in Australia about the importance of caring for our environment.


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