Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are gloves, fluorescent vests, grabbers, and trash bags available?

River Cleanup wants to make organizing a cleanup as easy as possible. First, check with your municipality to see if they offer materials you can use. This is the most sustainable solution because it avoids unnecessary logistics and one-time use.

If the municipality cannot offer the material, we will be happy to send you gloves. No special clothing is needed. If it is cold, dress warmly. If it is warm, protect yourself and use sunscreen. If the cleanup is organized in a dark period, use fluorescent vests to be more noticeable in traffic.

  1. Are participants/organizers insured for accidents during the cleanups?

By participating in a River Cleanup event, participants agree that organizers are not liable for any damage (material and moral), loss or theft, nor for possible accidents. We advise organizers to inform all participants that they are participating in a cleanup event at their own risk and should observe the following guidelines:

- Wear gloves on both hands

- Do not pick up sharp or dangerous objects

- Do not enter the water and do not take the waste out of the river when on foot

- Respect the rules of the road

- Watch children closely.

In some cases, the municipality can provide insurance for volunteers. If you are interested in this, please contact them.

  1. Why do you use plastic bags during cleanup?

The 100% recycled plastic bags used during cleanups are produced in Europe and made from 100% recycled waste. Their design results in 40% less CO2 being emitted during production. At this project stage, River Cleanup chose to supply and ship free trash bags to as many participants as possible to make it as easy as possible to organize a cleanup. Because of their good quality, these bags can be reused.

  1. What happens to the litter after the cleanup? Will it be recycled?

At this stage, it is up to the cleanup organizers to decide how to sort/recycle the litter in consultation with the local municipality. In River Cleanup's centrally organized cleanup events, the collected litter is sorted and recycled to the maximum extent. At the Antwerp event, for example, our ambition is to have a recycling park, making it possible to sort and recycle the collected litter to the maximum extent. We will share our experience and learning points on this with other cities in the coming years.

  1. What about the collected litter?

Contact your municipality (environmental department). They will advise you where to leave the bags so their services can collect them.

  1. How will data be collected and shared after the event?

All registered participants will receive a link to upload at least 1 photo on the cleanup page. The organizer can view these photos. Each organizer will receive an additional email shortly after the cleanup and will be asked for the exact number of participants and bags of litter collected.

  1. Why is River Cleanup partnering with a supermarket chain and an FMCG player, who are often accused of being part of the problem and not part of the solution?

River Cleanup believes in the power of collaboration to make change happen. A River Cleanup partnership is more than just a financial partnership. We require our partners to actively participate in the projects (employees, customers, expertise, channels) to accelerate their internal change process towards more sustainable solutions. All River Cleanup partners are regularly assessed for their past, current, and future involvement and commitment.

  1. I would like to help River Cleanup as a volunteer to have more impact

Super! Email us at community@river-cleanup.org, and we'll be in touch soon! Make sure you mention what you have in mind to do or what you are good at and where you're located ;) 


9. Why did you stop your project in Albania? 

We decide to shift focus due to some local difficulties. We are not validating the Clean River Model there. However, we still support people taking action there as part of our global community.  


10. Why are we not validating the Clean River Model in Albania?

We validate the Clean River Model based on some criteria: operational efficiency and effectiveness in Albania.