Privacy Statement

Welcome to RIVER CLEANUP. We are a non-profit organisation, organising and supporting initiatives to remove litter and other forms of pollution from our environment, and generating awareness about waste and pollution. We also research, support and develop innovative products which avoid the creation of waste or pollution at source, and/or facilitate more efficient and more effective recycling.

We collect, record and process essential Personal Data when you organise a cleanup activity through us, when you register to take part in an activity or when you subscribe to our newsletter. Other data will be collected automatically through the use of our websites, through the use of cookies or other systems which record information like IP addresses, the device used, the use made of the site or app, the language, the type of browser and the like. It is possible for us to identify you as a natural person using this Personal Data. You are identifiable when we can make a direct or indirect link between one or more items of Personal Data and you as a natural person. Whether we actually do this is not relevant here.

The protection of your personal privacy is important to us, and we want to inform you as fully as possible about the data we collect, why we do this and what control you can exercise. We promise that we will collect and use your Personal Data only within the limits set down by law.

We may amend our Privacy Statement where necessary in the future. And, of course, we will keep you informed of any significant changes. This Privacy Statement was last updated on 4th of March 2024.

  1. Who will see your Personal Data?
    • RIVER CLEANUP as Data Controller
      Your data will be processed by RIVER CLEANUP VZW (hereinafter "RIVER CLEANUP"), an association under Belgian law, RPR Ghent, appearing in the Kruispuntbank register of companies with number 0719.610.237 (BTW BE), with their Registered Premises at 2000 Antwerp, Ijzerenpoortkaai 3/86. In concrete terms, this means that we alone determine what Personal Data is collected, for what purposes we collect that personal data, and by what means we will process that Personal Data. You can contact us at any time if you have further questions and/or if you require more information.
      Telephone us: +32 (0)478 444 610
      E-mail us:
      Write to us: River Cleanup VZW, Ijzerenpoortkaai 3/86, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
      Within our organisation, the data is accessible only to responsible persons who require such access as part of their role.
    • Processor(s)

      As the Data Controller, we are able to engage so-called "Data Processors". A Data Processor is a natural person or legal entity processing Personal Data at the request, or on behalf, of the Data Controller. The Data Processor will act in accordance with the instructions provided by the Data Controller at all times.
      We can assure you that your data will, in principle, not be passed on to other persons. The transfer of data to allow our activities to continue is only necessary in exceptional circumstances. This exception is limited to the following persons:

      • The organization of cleanups requires preparation. When you take part in a cleanup, your personal data will be passed on to the organizer of the cleanup you have registered for, so that they can keep you informed about any changes and provide practical information about the cleanup project.
      • We also call on specialized external suppliers who carry out certain operations for us, such as our logistical partners and IT suppliers. Because these third parties have access to data in the context of the services we request from them, we have taken technical, organisational and contractual measures to ensure that your data is processed and used exclusively for the purposes set out in this Privacy Statement.
      • We make use of various tools and services to process, use or share your data, such as:
      • Where we are legally required to do so, your data will be provided to police and investigation agencies, to the Courts and to other government agencies.
  2. What do we know about you?
    • Public data and data we collect indirectly

      RIVER CLEANUP processes public data. Public data may be data subject to a duty to publicise, such as the appointment of a company director, or data which someone has made public themselves (for example, online), or data which is public, for example, because it is generally known in the area or because it has appeared in the press. Public data may also involve information which is available for example via the Kruispuntbank register of companies or databases like Graydon.

    • Data we collect directly
      We will process only Personal Data which is essential to us in order to achieve the objectives for which the data is processed (see Article 3 in this connection). We process the following categories of Personal Data:
      • Personal identification data (forename, surname, address, age);
      • Contact information (telephone number and e-mail address);
      • Electronic identification data (IP address, location, cookies);
      • (Profile) photograph.

        We collect electronic identification data when you use our website (for example, when you complete a registration form). The nature and quality of the Personal Data we collect depends on the use you make of the website and our service provision. We also use cookies to identify visitors to our website and to offer them a personal user experience, to record their technical choices (for example the language to use) and to identify and correct any errors on the website. Have a look at our Cookies Policy if you are interested in the way we use cookies.

    • Information you provide may be processed
      If you contact us by telephone or by e-mail, we may process your personal information (forename, surname, address) and contact details (telephone number and e-mail address) in order to build up a contact summary.
  3. Is that allowed?

    We can only legitimately use and process your information where one of the following conditions is met:

    • Where we have your freely given permission to use your data for a specific purpose. So, for example, we may request your permission to write to you for direct marketing purposes;
    • Where the use of your data is necessary to carry out a cleanup you have registered for;
    • Where the use of your data is necessary to further our legitimate interests, to the extent that this outweighs your own interests and rights. We identify the processes which are necessary to allow us to function based on our legitimate interests;
    • We may be legally obliged to process certain data, and, in particular, to pass data on to the relevant government agencies.
  4. Why do we collect your Personal Data?

    When you take part in a cleanup, as an organiser or as a participant, you voluntarily provide certain data. This may include your forename and surname, your e-mail address and any other information you provide to us. We collect your data so that we can:

    • Count the number of participants in a RIVER CLEANUP activity, and provide them with information;
    • Inform you if the organiser of an event is unable (any longer) to contact participants;
    • Contact you in the case of a cancellation or where force majeure applies.

      We use this data for analyses, statistics and promotions, to communicate with you, to improve the website or the services on offer, to deliver goods or services and to answer any specific queries you may have, and/or to provide feedback after complaints and/or reports.
      We also receive technical information when you use the website. Our servers automatically log data such as your IP address, the addresses of pages you visit on the website, the type of browser you use and its settings, the date and time of your connection, how you have used the website and data relating to cookies (you can find more information about that in our policy on the use of cookies).
      When you register for our newsletter, you provide us with your forename and surname and your e-mail address, so that we can send you informative e-mails about cleanups. We ask your explicit permission for this. We also base this on our legitimate interest in communicating with you in the context of the cleanups in which you participate.
      We may also use the information we collect about you when required by the legitimate interests of our organisation, and for new purposes which are not foreseen in our Privacy Statement. In the latter case, we will contact you before using your data for new purposes, to inform you about changes to our Privacy Statement and to ask you for permission.

  5. How long will my Personal Data be retained?

    We will retain your data only for as long as that is necessary with regard to the purposes for which the data is used, as set out in this policy. Because the need to retain data may vary depending on the data type and also the purpose of the processing, the actual retention periods may vary considerably, leaving aside the statutory, regulatory or conventional requirements or expiry periods which may necessitate or obligate their retention over a longer period. We will retain your login data and the data by which you identify yourself on the website for as long as you make use of your account.
    Once your data is no longer required and when we have no legal obligation to retain it, we will remove it completely, or where that is not possible, anonymise it in our system


  6. What rights can I exercise to ensure the protection of my Personal Data?
    • The right to inspect, amend or remove data

      On proof of your identity, we will be happy to inform you in detail about the Personal Data we hold on you, and what we do with that information. We will provide you on request with the fullest possible summary of the Personal Data which we hold on you. You can obtain a copy of the personal data collected.
      You are entitled to have erroneous, incomplete, inappropriate or outdated Personal Data corrected or removed at any time. Where your data is processed on the grounds of a legitimate interest, you are entitled to object to this for reasons associated with your individual situation.
      Where your data is incorrect and you have requested amendments, or where you believe that we are illegitimately processing your Personal Data, you may also request that its processing be restricted. This means that we may further process your Personal Data only with your permission. We may then continue to retain your Personal Data, but may not carry out any further processing without your permission, except in the context of judicial proceedings or for substantial reasons of general interest.
      We undertake to follow up on your request within 15 working days. You may post a written request for this purpose to River Cleanup VZW, Ijzerenpoortkaai 3/86, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium or e-mail:


    • The right to be forgotten
      You are entitled to have your Personal Data removed in the following circumstances:
      • When we no longer require your Personal Data for the stated purposes;
      • When you have withdrawn your permission to process your Personal Data, and there is no other legislative basis permitting the processing of your Personal Data;
      • When you have lawfully submitted an objection to the processing of your Personal Data;
      • When your Personal Data is being processed unlawfully;
      • When we are required to remove your Personal Data on the basis of a legal obligation.

        This entitlement is not absolute, however, as in some cases the processing is required in order to exercise the right to freedom of expression of ideas, to initiate or support a legal claim, to meet legal obligations or to carry out tasks of general interest, public health, archiving in the general interest or scientific, statistical or historical research.

    • You may request that your Personal Data be transferred directly to a third party
      If you wish, you may ask for the data you have provided to us yourself to be transferred to you or directly to a third party in a structured and usable digital form. The Regulations do, however, envisage a number of limitations to this entitlement, so that it does not apply in all cases. Obviously, this must be investigated on a case-by-case basis.


    • You may withdraw your permission

      When your Personal Data is processed on the basis of your permission, you may withdraw this permission at any time. We will then remove your Personal Data.


    • ​​​​​​​Exercising these rights

      If you wish to exercise one or more of these entitlements, please contact us at the above address, clearly specifying what entitlement you wish to exercise. You may additionally submit a complaint to the Belgian Data Protection Authority if you believe we are not respecting your rights. The address is as follows:
      Belgische Gegevensbeschermingsautoriteit
      Drukpersstraat 35
      1000 Brussel
      Tel.: +32 22744800
      Fax: +32 22744835


    • Protecting your data

      We do everything in our power to ensure the reliability, security and integrity of the data we collect and process. We store your data securely in Amsterdam, in a Tier-3 data centre. We have stringent security measures in place to prevent misuse of, and unauthorised access to, your Personal Data. So, for example, we ensure that only authorised persons have access to your data, that access to your data is secured and that our security measures are regularly checked. We have the necessary measures in place to prevent loss or modification of information. We use SSL certificates to ensure the secure transmission of your data and your communications with us. If you have the impression that the security of your data has been threatened, we would request that you contact us immediately.


    • Privacy policies of other websites

      Our website includes links to other websites. Our Privacy Statement applies only to our own website; so if you click on a link to another website, you must read their Privacy Statement.


    • Questions about the protection of your personal privacy?

      If you have any questions about the protection of your personal privacy, you can visit the website of the Belgian Data Protection Authority,