World Cleanup Day actives more than 100,000 helping hands

September 24, 2021

The story of River Cleanup started in 2017 with a litter clean-up of only 10 minutes. This small action gave people food for thought. Meanwhile the non-profit organization has grown into an international organization with 141,572 proud river warriors who have committed themselves to help create a better planet. Badly needed, considering about 8 million tonnes of waste end up in our seas and oceans every year, and most of it is carried there by rivers.

The recent floods are still very much an issue. The devastation resulted in an unprecedented waste flow. River Cleanup is counting on the solidarity of other people and will continue the weekly clean-up campaigns with organizing buses from Antwerp and Leuven to Wallonia even after World Cleanup Day. The clean-up actions by World Cleanup Day have never been so necessary, which made this edition so special.


Figures That Count

The main event of World Cleanup Day took place last Saturday, 18 September at the Houtdok In Ghent together with Dokano and Rotary Gent Noord. It was River Cleanup founder Thomas who steered the noble campaign. Numerous volunteers cleared the river of waste from the water, using kayaks. After the hard work a real open air celebration was held with Paradise City and Bar Bricolage.

Arduous clean-up jobs were being carried out not only in Ghent but also in Antwerp, Leuven and Dendermonde. In collaboration with Facilicom Group, River Cleanup set up various campaigns along the Canal. Renewi ensured the correct collection and processing of the waste.

The last few days, all partners with no less than 20000 volunteers at 250 locations created a greener world. Next weekend another 80000 volunteers will give a helping hand in Wallonia.


Numbers River Cleanup (5257 participants)

Ghent: 300 helping hands, 600 kg of waste collected

Antwerp: 140 helping hands, 350 kg of waste collected

Leuven: 71 helping hands, 180. kg of waste collected



You have missed this first Cleanup day but you are eager to give a hand? Roll up your sleeves at one of the key events:

  • Namen: 25 Sept from 10am – 2pm, Boulevard de la Meuse 40

  • Pepinster: 26 Sept from 11am – 4pm, Rue Vovegnez 29, 4860 Pepinster

Moreover, you can set up your own campaign at a nearby river or waterway. Surf quickly to This way you can easily contribute with your family, friends, colleagues or anyone else. 



River Cleanup 
Thomas de Groote 
+32 (0)478 44 46 10

MMBSY (for Press and Media inquiries) 
Margo Van Raemdonck 
+32 (0)479 92 32 53