Frequently Asked Questions

1)    Are there gloves, vests, pickers, trash bags available? 
River Cleanup wants to make the organization of a cleanup as easy as possible. First step for you is to check with your local municipality whether they offer material to use, this is the most sustainable option as it avoids shipping and/or material only to be used once. If the local municipality cannot offer the material, we are happy to ship gloves, bags and some grabbers to your location.
No special clothing is needed. If it’s cold, dress up warm. If it’s hot, protect yourself and use sunscreen. If the cleanup is organized when it’s dark, please use fluorescent jackets to be better noticed in traffic.

2)    Are participants/organizers insured for accidents during the cleanup?
By participating in a River Cleanup event, participants agree that the organizers are not liable for any (material and moral) damage, loss or theft, nor for possible accidents. We advise organizers to inform all participants that they join a cleanup at their own risk and have to:
-    Wear gloves at both hands.
-    Do not pick up sharp or dangerous items.
-    Do not clean or go in the water.
-    Respect the traffic rules. 
-    Watch their children.

In some cases the municipality can foresee insurance for volunteers. If you are interested, please reach out to them.

3)    Why do you use plastic bags during the cleanup? 
The 100% recycled plastic bags used during the cleanups are produced in Europe and made from 100% post-consumer waste. By their design they produce 40% less CO2 during production. At this stage of the project, River Cleanup chose to supply and ship free cleanup bags to as many participants as possible to make it as easy as possible to organize a cleanup. Because of their good quality, cleanup bags can be re-used. 

4)    What happens with the trash after the cleanup? Does it get sorted? At this stage it’s up to the organizers of the local cleanups to decide how to sort the trash, in collaboration with the local municipality. In the centrally organized cleanups by River Cleanup, trash will be sorted and recycled to the maximum. At the Antwerp event, for example, it is our ambition to have a recycling area, allowing the sorting and recycling of the collected trash to the fullest. We will share learnings of this experience with other cities in the coming years.

5)    Where to leave the collected trash? 
Contact your municipality (environmental service); They will advise you on where to leave the trash behind in order to have it picked up by their services. 

6)    How is data shared after the event?
A few hours before the cleanup, all registered participants will receive a link to upload minimum 1 picture on the cleanup page. The organizer can review these pictures. Every organizer gets an extra email shortly after the cleanup and will be asked the exact number of participants as well as the collected bags.

7)    Why is River Cleanup collaborating with a supermarket chain and FMCG player, often accused of being part of the problem and not the solution?
River Cleanup believes in the power of collaboration to achieve changes. A River Cleanup partnership is more than just a financial partnership. We require our partners to become actively involved in the projects (employees, customers, expertise, channels) in order to speed up their internal change process towards more sustainable solutions. All River Cleanup partners are regularly reviewed on their past, current and future involvement and commitment. 

8)    I would like to volunteer and help River Cleanup Belgium to have more impact
Great news! Email us on action@river-cleanup.org and we’ll get in touch soon! Make sure to indicate what you have in mind or what you’re good at ;)