Clean Up Australia Day and How to Get Involved

Maybe you've heard of Clean Up Australia Day before, seen other companies post about their Clean Up on LinkedIn, or have run a school or community event for the Clean Up. Whatever the case, here's a brief history of the day and our product recommendations if you'd like to get involved with Australia's largest community-based environmental event.

Before you start prepping, consider your team size and where you'd like to run your local event, then register yourself with and shop Hanleys Clean Up Australia Day recommendations.

What is Clean Up Australia Day?

Clean Up Australia Day was founded in 1989 by the late Ian Kiernan AO, who had a simple idea to make a difference. He was out sailing and noticed a lot of pollution, so he decided Sydney harbour needed a serious clean up and asked locals to help out.

Since then, Clean Up Australia Day has become Australia’s largest community-based environmental event, with more than 20 million Aussies participating in Clean Up Australia Day activities over the past three decades.

Schools and businesses play a big role in Clean Up Australia Day with their own clean up days.

Australia's waste challenges go far beyond one day. Clean Up Australia inspires and empowers communities to clean up, fix up and conserve our environment. As Australia’s pollution challenges continue to grow, we all need to support solutions which help move us towards less waste.

To put things into perspective, the Australian Circular Economy Hub reported that in 2020-21, “Australia generated 75.8 mega tonnes (Mt) of total waste, including 14 Mt from households and local government, 32.8 Mt from the commercial and industrial sector and 29 Mt from construction and demolition. 75.8 Mt of waste is roughly the equivalent weight of 471 Sydney Opera Houses.”

But despite the bad news stories - the latest waste report shows 63% of Australia’s waste is recovered and used again.

Hanleys encourages the community to take a small step every day to lessen the burden of plastic and marine waste - whether it be considering environment conservation through recyling, using environmentally responsible food packaging, recycled washroom supplies, or by organising a Clean Up activity for your school or business.

When is Clean Up Australia Day?

It's always the first Sunday in March. In 2024, the official Clean Up will be Sunday 3 March.

Clean Up Australia Day 2024 For Schools

The dedicated Schools Clean Up Day will be Friday 1 March.

Clean Up Australia Day 2024 For Businesses

Businesses of all sizes are urged to get involved on Business Clean Up Day on Tuesday 27 February 2024.

If you’d like to organise an event, register at You can organise a Clean Up any day of the year - you don't have to wait til March to get involved.

What you Need for the Clean Up

Garbage Bags

A bit of a no-brainer - bin liners and garbage bags should be the first things on the list for your Clean Up. The Hanleys range includes heavy duty bags, degradable garbage bags, trolley bin liners, and kitchen liners. Think about your litreage requirements and how you plan on carrying the bags (bins or by hand) to help you decide on the best option. Our Clean Up recommendation is 82 litre clear Degradable Garbage Bag. If in doubt, contact us!

Safety Gloves

Safety gloves and other PPE are essential for your school or business Clean Up Australia Day activity. Our disposable gloves come in varying strengths, thicknesses, materials (latex, nitrile and vinyl) and colours to meet your needs. Our recommendation is Pro-Tek Vinyl Gloves. These lightly powdered gloves come in a range of sizes (small, medium, large and extra large) - to fit primary school little tykes right up to fully grown business people. They come in packs of 100 to cater for your crew!

Rubbish Pickers

Rubbish pickers and grabbers are a great option to keep your hands clean while cleaning up! The Oates Litter Picker safely collects syringes, sharp objects and general waste. The extra long 100cm handle helps with reach and control to save you the strain of continuous bending to pick up rubbish.

Clinical Waste Disposal Containers

It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with your Clean Up. Clinical waste and sharps are potential hazards if they are accidentally picked up by hand or foot by a member of your crew. Consider sharps disposal containers and safety clinical waste disposal items to ensure you’re equipped for a safe Clean Up. If you're not sure where to drop your sharps after the Clean Up, there are safe and accessible places to dispose of sharps in your local community. These include:

  • Public hospitals

  • Participating pharmacies

  • Community sharps disposal bins.

Sunscreen and Sanitiser

We subscribe to slip, slop, slap. Your Clean Up will likely be outdoors, so ensure your team is sun safe with SPF 50+. Our choice is the SPF 50+ Sunscreen Lotion with Aloe Vera 1L. This product provides UVA and UVB broad spectrum protection and is four hour water resistant. Best of all, it’s dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin.

Last but certainly not least, add sanitiser to your Clean Up prep list. Our recommendation is mini sanitisers so your team members can keep it in their pockets. The Aqium Hand Sanitiser 60ml kills 99.99% of germs fast. Plus, it contains moisturisers to leave your hands soft and hygienically clean.

Make sure to think about the size of your team, Clean Up area and timeframe when considering your Clean Up needs. Don’t hesitate to buy online or reach out to our team of experts to help make your Clean Up Australia Day event run as smoothly as possible!

Do your bit and get involved, because many small actions create big change!

Subscribe to Hanleys for all your cleaning solutions and sign up to the official site to stay up to date with the latest news, information and Clean Up events.