Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up work?

The Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up provides supplies and facilitation for volunteer teams looking to clean up litter in Nova Scotia.

Each team will be headed by a clean-up coordinator, who will register the group and serve as its primary contact.

Organizing a clean-up is simple:

  1. Choose a clean-up location.
  2. Determine how to manage your garbage and recyclables once the clean-up is completed.
  3. Register your team at www.nspickmeup.ca.
  4. Pick up your clean-up supplies; Call ahead if outside HRM.
  5. Complete your clean-up.
  6. Fill out the data card form on our website or  submit a paper copy to us via mail or email.
How do I register a clean-up?

Clean-ups can be registered by visiting www.nspickmeup.ca. The clean-up coordinator should fill out the registration form. You can make your clean-up public so anyone can join you, or keep it private so only your chosen team members can participate.

You will need to know the following information to complete your registration:

  1. Your organization or team name.
  2. The name, email and phone number for your clean-up coordinator.
  3. The location of your clean-up.
  4. The date of your clean-up.
  5. A description of how you plan to dispose of the collected garbage and recyclables after your clean-up.
  6. How you heard about the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up and whether you have previously participated in the program.
  7. Any other important information you think we should know.

Once registered, you will receive an approval email with instructions on how to pick up clean-up supplies within your waste region. Pick up locations for supplies and contact information can be found below in the FAQ’s. Following your registration, you may be contacted by an Adopt-A-Highway staff member with follow-up questions to help us facilitate your clean-up.

I do not have access to a computer. Can I still register for a clean-up?

Yes, an Adopt-A-Highway staff member can take registrations by phone for teams that do not have access to the internet. To make registrations over the phone clean-up coordinators can call the Adopt-A-Highway at 902-843-3553.

You should have the following information ready when you call:

  1. Your organization or team name.
  2. The name, email and phone number for your clean-up coordinator.
  3. The location of your clean-up.
  4. The date of your clean-up.
  5. A description of how plan to dispose of the collected garbage and recyclables after your clean-up.
  6. How you heard about the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up and whether you have previously participated in the program.
  7. Any other important information you think we should know.
Can other people join my clean-up?

When registering, a clean-up coordinator can select whether the clean-up will be public or private. If the clean-up is private, your cleanup will appear on our map but no contact information will be shown. If the clean-up is public, the clean-up will appear on our map with the coordinators contact information so that individuals may contact them and ask to join the cleanup.

Can I join an existing clean-up team?

Most definitely! Our aim is to allow communities to easily rally together and organize bigger clean-ups without having to all register separately.

Visit our clean-up map and click on “clean-up locations” to view events already taking place within your community.

How far in advance of my clean-up do I have to register it?

If you require clean-up supplies and/or need help scheduling a pick-up for your garbage and recyclables, we ask that you register at least two weeks prior to the date of your event.

If you do not require clean-up supplies and have made your own arrangements to dispose of your garbage and recyclables after your clean-up, you can register up until the day before your event.

If registering less than two weeks prior to the event please call our office at 902-843-3553 to confirm that your desired clean-up location is not scheduled to be cleaned by another team.

When can I register a clean up?

Registration for the 2019 season will begin in early April.

What do I do if I have to postpone or cancel our clean-up?

It’s okay if you have to change the date of your clean-up. Please note that the clean-up coordinator is responsible for notifying their team members of the change. Please let our office know of the change at info@nsadoptahighway.ca or 902-843-3553.

If you have made arrangements to have your garbage picked up by your local waste region or 311, you should contact the responsible authority ASAP to cancel or re-book.

You may need to provide two weeks’ notice of your new clean-up date in order to ensure that you can get your garbage and recyclables picked up.

What supplies do I receive when I register?

When a clean-up coordinator registers a clean-up, they can pick up the following supplies at select locations

    • Clear garbage bags (approximately 1 per adult, or 1 per 3 youth, unless requested otherwise)
    • Blue recycling bags (approximately 1 per 10 garbage bags)
    • Nitrile gloves (approximately 2 per person – HRM only)

*Please note that supplies are available on a first come basis. 

The Adopt-A-Highway will also email the following documents to the clean-up coordinator:

  • A handbook containing information on the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up program, safety information, tips for running a successful clean-up, and contact information for local waste regions.
  • An electronic version of a poster that can be printed off and used to help promote the clean-up event.
  • A data card that must be emailed or mailed to Adopt A Highway after the clean-up. You also have the option to complete the data card electronically on the Pick-Me-Up website. 
Will we receive gloves for our clean-up? How many?

Outside HRM:

For any clean-ups taking place outside of the HRM, we recommend clean-up coordinators reach out to their local waste region to see if they are able to provide gloves. Alternatively, we encourage clean-up coordinators to get participants to bring reusable gloves or visit their local pharmacy to purchase non-latex gloves.

Within HRM:

HRM will provide your team with nitrile gloves, limited to one pair per person. Additionally, we encourage clean-up coordinators to get participants to bring reusable gloves to reduce waste.

How do I get my team's supplies?

Outside HRM:

Please call your waste region to arrange pick up of your teams supplies. The waste region’s contact information will be emailed to your team’s clean-up coordinator upon registration. You may also find your local waste region’s contact information below in the FAQ section.

Within HRM:

Supplies will be available for pick-up at the following locations:

Address Hours of Operation

Bayer’s Road Centre
7071 Bayers Road
2nd Floor Towers
Halifax  NS B3L 4P3

8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Monday to Friday
Closed on statutory holidays

Scotia Square Mall
5201 Duke Street
Halifax  NS B3J 1N9

8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Monday to Friday
Closed on statutory holidays

Acadia Centre
636 Sackville Drive
Lower Sackville  NS B4C 2S3

8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Monday to Friday
Closed on statutory holidays

Musquodoboit Harbour
7900 Highway #7
Musquodoboit Harbour  NS B0J 2L0

8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Monday to Friday
Closed on statutory holidays

Alderney Gate
40 Alderney Drive
1st Floor
Dartmouth  NS B2Y 2N5

8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Monday to Friday
Closed on statutory holidays

The Alderney Drive pick-up point is the only remaining pick-up point with supplies.

Supplies are limited and available on a first-come first-served basis.

Team coordinators are able to call ahead to 311 and confirm that the supplies are available.

What should I do with left-over supplies when I have finished my clean-up?

We encourage groups to save their supplies for their next clean-up! However, if a team wishes to return their unused materials, the supplies can be re-purposed for another clean-up.

How do we dispose of our litter once we’ve finished our clean-up?

Outside HRM:

Pick up with household waste: Where possible, we ask that garbage and recycling be disposed of by dividing it among participants and placing it curbside with their household waste. Please note: this material will count towards the current limit of 6 garbage bags per single unit household. There is no limit for recyclables.

Alternatively, clean-up coordinators can contact their local waste region for garbage disposal options. Waste management practices vary from region to region, so confirming disposal details before the clean-up with their local contacts is a key step to ensuring that your teams hard work pays off.

Within HRM:

Pick up with household waste: Where possible, we ask that garbage and recycling be disposed of by dividing it among participants and placing it curbside with their household waste. Please note: this material will count towards the current limit of six garbage bags per single unit household. There is no limit for recyclables.

Pick up by HRM staff: Teams should contact 311 at least two weeks prior to their event to arrange for onsite collection of bagged waste by a municipal garbage truck. The event MUST be registered with the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up to qualify for this service. Please have the following information available when you call 311:

  • Team name
  • Clean-up coordinator’s name and phone number to reach on the day of the event
  • Date of clean-up
  • Desired pick-up time
  • Location where garbage needs to be collected (provide civic address)
  • Approximately how many bags you expect will need to be collected

You will be provided a service Request Number. Do not lose this number; you will need it in case you need to change the date or time of the pick-up, or in case the garbage is not collected for some reason. Please contact 311 to report any changes (in case your event is rescheduled) or to inquire if materials have not been collected at the expected time.

Drop off at the Otter Lake Landfill: Team coordinators can contact Halifax Solid Waste (wasteless@halifax.ca or 902-490-5960, option 0) at least two weeks prior to their event to arrange drop-off of litter directly to the Otter Lake Facility. The event must be registered with the Great Nova Scotia Pick Me Up in order for tipping fees to be waived.

Please have the following information available when you call or email:

  • Team name
  • Clean-up coordinator’s name, phone number, and email.
  • Date of your clean-up.
  • Location of your clean-up.
  • Estimated number of bags to be dropped off.
  • Description of the vehicle that will be dropping the bags off.
  • Licence plate number.
  • Time expected for drop-off.
Can I re-schedule my garbage collection?

It’s okay if you have to change the date of your clean-up. Please note that the clean-up coordinator is responsible for notifying their team members of the change.

If you have made arrangements to have your garbage picked up by your local waste region or 311, you should contact the responsible authority ASAP to cancel or re-book.

You may need to provide two weeks’ notice of your new clean-up date in order to ensure that you can get your garbage and recyclables picked up.

Do we have to separate recyclables from regular garbage during our clean-up?

Yes. Blue bags are provided to all clean-up participants, and any clean materials that are recyclable in your region should be placed in a blue bag for collection.

Additionally, any refundables found during the clean-up can be collected and returned to a depot for a monetary refund.

How do I dispose of tires, propane tanks, electronics and hazardous waste?

There are certain materials that cannot be picked up through regular waste collection.

Electronics: Visit www.recyclemyelectronics.ca/ns for a listing of items that cannot be disposed in regular garbage and to find the nearest electronics recycling drop-off location.

Tires: Return up to four passenger vehicle tires to any tire retailer in Nova Scotia at no charge. Visit www.divertns.ca for details.

Leftover Paint: Visit www.productcare.org/province/nova-scotia to find a location where paint can be recycled at no charge.

Clean-up coordinators can contact their local waste region for information on how to properly dispose of hazardous waste.

What do I do if we find used condoms or needles?

Used condoms should only be picked up using tongs and while wearing gloves. Do not touch the condom directly with bare hands.

Needles and syringes should be left where they are by the team. Do not put needles and syringes in garbage bags, bins or anything other than an approved sharps container. Do not touch needles or syringes directly with bare hands and never attempt to cover, bend or break any needles or syringes.

For more information on the importance of proper sharps disposal please visit: www.dontbeaprick.org.

Make a note of the locations of any used needles and report their locations reported to your local waste region or if you are within the HRM please report to 311.

Waste from our clean-up has not been picked up as scheduled. What should we do?

Outside HRM:

Contact your local waste region for garbage disposal options.

Within HRM:

Contact 311, using your confirmation number, to advise that the garbage has not been collected.

How do I contact my local Waste Region?

Waste management practices vary slightly from region to region, so confirming disposal details with your local waste region contacts is key to ensuring that your teams hard work pays off.

The Great Pick Me Up - Regions

Region 1  
Cape Breton Regional Municipality 902-567-1337
Inverness, Richmond, Port Hawkesbury 902-787-2177
Victoria 902-295-3144

 

 

Region 2  
Antigonish & Guysborough County 902-232-2563 or 1-888-377-9622
Pictou 902-396-1495

 

Region 3  
Cumberland 902-667-5141 or 1-888-711-5925
Colchester 902-895-4777
East Hants 1-888-873-3332

 

Region 4  
HRM 311
  wasteless@halifax.ca

 

Region 5  
Kings/Annapolis 902-679-1325 or 1-877-927-8300

 

Region 6  
Region 6  902-624-1339

 

Region 7  
Digby/Yarmouth County 902-742-1312 or 1-800-569-0039

 

Other  
NS Adopt-A-Highway  902-843-3553
Nova Scotia Environment 1-800-565-1633
Marine Explosives (Flares) Call your local RCMP station
Department of Land and Forestry 902-424-5935
Environment Canada 1-800-668-6767
When should we do a litter clean-up?

The Great Nova Scotia Pick Me Up will accept clean-up registrations starting early April until September 30, 2019.

Many groups prefer to plan their clean-up during the early spring when garbage is visible – the snow has melted, but the grass and trees aren’t yet in bloom. This makes it really easy to find and grab the litter that surfaces after the long winter months.

Where should we do a litter clean-up?

Our volunteers know the best location for a litter clean-up as they know their communities best. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Check out our clean-up map to see where other clean-ups are taking place in their community. Individuals can either join existing public clean-ups or start their own.
  • If a person is thinking of cleaning areas such as parks or private property, we recommend contacting the park operators/landowners for permission first. Any issues related to trespassing are the sole responsibility of the clean-up team.
  • For safety reasons, you are not permitted to carry out clean-ups along 100-series or controlled access highways.
  • If you would like to carry out a clean-up along a non-100 series, non-controlled access highway, you will need to contact us at Adopt-a-Highway for assistance.
How should I advertise my clean-up in my community?

Groups can share the clean-up event within their community in many ways. Download our poster template, which can be printed off and hung in popular community hubs.

Using our clean-up map, clean-up coordinators can share their event via Facebook and Twitter. You can also choose to reach community members by contacting local radio stations or newspapers.

I want to do a highway or roadside clean-up – what do I need to know?

If you want to do a highway or roadside clean-up, we ask that you contact us at the Nova Scotia Adopt-A-Highway office at 902-843-3553. You may also visit our website at www.nsadoptahighway.ca.

What is the data card? How do I submit it? What happens with the information?

We ask that all clean-up coordinators submit a data card to us describing how much and what types of litter are collected during clean-ups. This helps us determine the impact of everyone’s efforts as well as what types of litter troubles communities.

Clean-up coordinators should send in their completed data card as soon as possible after their event. The data card can be completed online via our website or a paper copy can be completed and mailed to:

Attention: Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up
NS Adopt-A-Highway Program
D-28 Esplanade Street
Truro  NS B2N 2K3

Or email to: info@nsadoptahighway.ca.

How do I provide the weight of the garbage collected?

Clean-up coordinators can use a household, luggage or spring scale, or try comparing the weight of individual bags to regular items (e.g., a bag of sugar = 2kg). Other ideas include having the bags or large items weighed at pick-up or when dropping them off at the landfill. You can also look up weight estimates for large items (e.g. tire = 22lbs).

What safe practices should we follow during our clean-up?

The health and safety of clean-up volunteers is the responsibility of the clean-up coordinator. Prior to a clean-up, coordinators should review the following safe work practices.

The Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up handbook emailed to you with at registration contains safety tips and information to help you and your team clean safely.

Prior to a clean-up, the clean-up coordinator should:

  • visit the site prior to the clean-up to identify any areas of risk such as railway tracks, street traffic, the presence of dangerous litter items, etc.;
  • provide a briefing to all participants of the clean-up event regarding safety precautions;
  • ask team members to make sure everyone is dressed for the weather, with closed shoes, sturdy gloves, and sunscreen and insect repellent as may be appropriate;
  • ensure that there will be sufficient adult supervision for any child volunteers;
  • ask team members not to lift heavy objects such as car parts or refrigerators, but instead to leave them for someone with hauling equipment;
  • ask team members never to reach into areas such as bushes or groundcover into which they cannot see clearly, and to watch out for potentially dangerous waste such as poisons, insecticides, broken glass, sharp-edged and/or rusty metals, heavy items, used needles, and condoms;
  • ensure that a basic First Aid kit containing surgical dressings, iodine, antiseptic and bandages is available on-site. Coordinators can also ask volunteers who are medically-trained to make themselves known; and
  • have a fully-charged cellphone on site to call 911 in the event of an accident or emergency.

These practices listed here and those contained in our handbook are not meant to be a exhaustive listing. It is also recommended that teams carry their own liability insurance.

Do you have any prizes/giveaways we could have for our volunteers?

We do not have prizes or giveaways to supply clean-up teams. However, some teams have had success in finding prizes by contacting local businesses and organizations within their community.

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