Keep Denver Beautiful

Overview

Together — We're Keeping Denver Clean & Beautiful!

Our mission is to enhance the visual appearance of Denver by addressing problems of graffiti and litter through volunteer projects and educational programs.

Keep Denver Beautiful focuses on supporting residents and businesses in maintaining an attractive safe urban environment. As a program of Solid Waste Management, we emphasize the elimination of trash, litter, junk and graffiti from our city’s neighborhoods and public right-of-ways. Keep Denver Beautiful coordinates the efforts of neighborhood residents, volunteer groups and Solid Waste Management. Explore Volunteer Opportunities for information on how you or your group can get involved.

Explore our volunteer opportunities to get involved and keep an eye out for our annual cleanup events like the Great Denver Cleanup and Free Tire Collection events (Please note: due to safety concerns for residents and staff, these annual programs are on hold).

Additionally, our sister program, Denver Partners Against Graffiti, provides graffiti abatement services for many public and private properties.

Individual Cleanups: 

Large group cleanup support is on hold in accordance to City of Denver social distancing requirements, but each of us can still make a difference!

Be responsible, stay safe, and do a small group, family, or individual cleanup.

Safety Checklist for Individual Cleanups:

1.    Ensure that it is safe and permissible by local authorities to be outside.

  • Always follow the city of Denver health and safety ordinances before heading outside. If you live in an area where you can be outside, be sure to practice social distancing and robust sanitation practices before, during, and after your cleanup.  

2.    Prepare appropriate location and route for your cleanup.

  • Choose a safe location: Select a place where it is less likely you will be around other people. Your cleanup route can be done in your neighborhood or a park nearby. Check the weather. 
  • Select a route: Before heading out, know what route you want to take and calculate how long it will take. 

3.    During the cleanup

  • Proper supplies: Ensure that you wear some form of gloves for protection. Additionally, good old trash grabbers, BBQ/salad tongs, or other pickup device can help create further separation between you and the litter. Also, don’t forget litter bags or buckets, high visibility clothing, close-toed shoes, hand sanitizer (if available) and sunscreen!
  • Best practice: don’t touch the litter directly, and don’t touch your face.
  • Choose your litter wisely: only pick up the litter that is safe to handle and if you choose to separate recycling, focus only on bottles and cans.

4.    Go the extra mile:

  • Add litter cleanup to your jogging routine and go “PLOGGING” or in other words pick up litter while exercising!
  • Keep your cleanup going all year round by Adopting a Spot. Choose the area you want to cleanup regularly, and we will install a sign with your name on it to advertise your cleanup efforts!
  • Consider using the Earth Challenge Plastics App to log your piece of litter and support citizen science.

For questions or further information, please call 311 (720-913-1311)

Adopt-A-Spot Program

Adopt-A-Spot is for groups of all ages and sizes!

Adopt-A-Spot is for schools, businesses, civic groups, churches or families who want to maintain a particular area. It provides an opportunity for groups of any size to regularly volunteer and set their own schedule. 

Cleanups offer participants the chance to explore details of the urban environment that often go unnoticed. Cities are part of our ecosystems and beautification projects help to solidify understanding of these complex relationships. The diverse cultural, economic and social environment of Denver provides occasion to develop personal knowledge of and explore the opportunities and challenges facing urban communities. Joining in organized cleanups also presents the chance for positive interaction with diverse peoples from Denver’s neighborhoods.

Adopt-A-Spot offers a means and the support for you to make your community a better place to live and play. Click here to view the program guidelines for the Adopt-A-Spot Program.

Keep Denver Beautiful provides:

  • Organizational help.
  • Safety and procedures training.
  • Clean up supplies including bags, safety vests and work gloves.
  • Free trash pickup after each cleanup.
  • Loaner tools, as needed.

Sponsor's Responsibilities:

  • Maintains a stretch of road, alleys or open areas (public right-of-way) for one year.
  • Provides people-power to pick up litter, remove illegal signs and report graffiti.
  • Agrees to clean your Spot through the year.
  • Notifies Keep Denver Beautiful of planned cleanup dates so we can arrange for supplies and trash pick-ups.

Litter Education

What is litter?

That’s an easy one. Litter is trash that’s not where it belongs. Instead of being in a trashcan or dumpster, recycling bin or a landfill, it’s on the ground, in waterways or blowing in the air.

Where does it come from? 

People! Litter comes from people who do not properly dispose and store trash at home, at work, and at play. Litter comes from business trash collection areas, loading docks and construction and demolition sites. Litter also comes from trucks with uncovered loads, pedestrians and motorists.

Why do people litter?

  • They believe it’s okay to litter where there is no sense of ownership, e.g., public areas such as parks, streets, highways, theaters, etc.
  • They believe someone else will pick up after them (same areas as #1).
  • They believe it’s okay because litter is already there.

What is wrong with litter?

It’s ugly, expensive, illegal, and dangerous. Neighborhoods with litter usually have lower property values and higher crime rates than lesser-littered neighborhoods. It costs extra money to clean up litter. There are laws against littering – and fines to pay if a litterbug is caught!  Animals can choke on litter or get injured by litter. People can be injured by litter (like broken glass) in parks and on beaches. Blowing litter can cause auto accidents.

Wow! That's Serious Stuff. What can I do about litter?

Set an example an NEVER LITTER! Carry a litterbag in your vehicle. Make sure trashcans have tight-fitting lids and keep them closed! Don’t overfill your trashcans or put out loose trash in boxes. Tie papers in bundles or place heavy items on them when putting them out for recycling collection. Report areas where you see illegally dumped garbage and debris. Adopt-A-Spot or Adopt-A-School and keep it clean and beautiful. To participate in your community or for more information call Keep Denver Beautiful at 311 (720-913-1311).

Handbills are Illegal In the City of Denver

What is a handbill? Any notice, advertisement, flyer, leaflet, circular, handout, pamphlet, brochure or fact sheet.

It is unlawful to post, paint or attach, or to directly or indirectly cause to be posted, painted or attached in any manner, any handbill, poster, advertisement or notice of any kind upon public property except by permission of the manager of public works pursuant to established rules and regulations, or on private property except by permission of the owner or authorized agent of the owner of such property.

The person responsible for causing the unlawful posting of any notice described herein will be liable for the cost of removal. Persons liable under this section include, but are not limited to, any individuals or businesses whose advertisement, message or information appears on or is contained in notice posted unlawfully.

— Denver Municipal Code: 1950, 332, 6-2 855.3

Let’s all do our part to help Keep Denver Beautiful!