Organizer FAQs

  • What are the steps to planning a Rivers Alive cleanup?
    1. Organize a suitable planning group
    2. Select an appropriate site
    3. Register your event
    4. Line up support and supplies
    5. Arrange for trash disposal and recycling
    6. Publicize the event
    7. Recruit volunteers
    8. Coordinate your volunteers
  • How do I register my event with Rivers Alive?

    To register a cleanup event, navigate to the Organizers tab, click on the yellow “Register/Manage Your Event” button, and log into your account*. On your Event Registration page, select the ‘Register a New Event’ button.

    *If you do not have an account, contact the Rivers Alive state office to create one.


  • How do I register a location for my event?
    1. Log into your Rivers Alive account and click on your event to access the registration form. Click on the tab titled “Your Event’s Location” and select the blue “Enter a New Location” button.*  

    1. After you find your event's location on the map, right-click to drop a pin on the map. If you accidentally selected the wrong location, right click again. Your first location will still be marked with a red pin, but only the most recently selected location will be saved.  

    1. After you have selected your location, select the type of waterbody and enter a name for your location to the left of the map.  

    1. After entering your information, click the “Register location” button.  


    *If you are part of an established group and organizing a clean-up at an established site (i.e. the same location as a previous year), you do NOT need to create a new location. Instead, select the site from the "Cleanup Location" dropdown. Please note that you must select your organizing group name on the "Your Group and Organizing Partner" tab for these sites to populate.

  • Who do I contact to coordinate litter pickups?

    Contact your local solid waste department to arrange litter pickups by sanitation trucks. You may need to seek approval to use municipal or county waste disposal facilities and sign a waiver if there is a dumping fee associated with the facilities. If the sanitation department is unable to work at your site, plan alternative assistance.

  • What are some ways to publicize the event? What information should be included in the announcement?

    Partner with your local newspaper, television and/or radio stations to help publicize the event. Consider utilizing social media, newsletters, church bulletins, schools, and speakers’ bureaus, as well as displaying posters and other printed materials in public locations. 

    Consider the following information when promoting the cleanup event:

    • Time and location 
    • Phone number for interested volunteers to call for further information 
    • What volunteers are expected to wear and bring
    • Backup rain-date in case of inclement weather
    • Call for volunteers to RSVP to a social media “event” page
  • Is a liability waiver form necessary? If so, where can I locate one?

    All volunteers must sign a liability waiver to participate in a Rivers Alive event. Organizers can choose to use their own waiver and sign-in sheet, or use the copies provided on the Rivers Alive website. Consider retaining copies of waivers according to state and/or local legal guidelines.

  • Why are we collecting data on debris? Is it necessary to record the number of items collected?

    Rivers Alive encourages detailed collection on the types and amount of trash collected during an event.  These data can help show us sources of trash polluting our local waterways. Cleanup data is submitted to The Ocean Conservancy and incorporated into their annual report, which has been used by EPA, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and others to identify water threats around the nation. 

    Some things Rivers Alive would like to know include: 

    • Number of trash bags, dump trucks and/or pounds of trash collected 

    • Number of volunteers 

    • Total volunteer hours 

    • Approximate size of the area cleaned (river/ lake/ wetland/ coastland miles) 

    • Most common and most unusual items collected 

    • Amount of recyclable material salvaged 

    Organizer and Volunteer Tally Forms are available on the Rivers Alive website and hard-copies are distributed with t-shirts in late August.  

    Contact Rivers Alive staff with any questions or concerns related to data collection or reporting: [email protected]

  • Where do I send my final tally form and event photos?

    Log into your Rivers Alive account to submit the Organizer Tally Form. Navigate to the cleanup’s Event Registration form, the same form you initially used to register the event, and enter the data into the tab, “Final Tally of Your Event”. Photos can be uploaded under the “Additional Information” tab or emailed directly to [email protected].

  • Where will the data be posted for organizers and volunteers to see?

    Cleanup data is posted on Cleanup Results page, and publicized in the Annual Report. Annual reports are made available online and by request. Data is also submitted to the International Coastal Cleanup each year, and data helps us to gauge the success of our program.

    Contact Rivers Alive staff with any questions or concerns related to reporting: [email protected]

  • How do I request t-shirts for my event?

    For September – December events: 

    Navigate to your Event Registration page, click the “Edit” link in the box titled “T-shirt Requests”, and enter your shirt request and pickup location. The deadline for t-shirt requests is July 31st. If you have already registered your cleanup event, please double-check to make sure that you included the date and location of your event- these are both required to receive t-shirts.

    For January – August events: 

    Rivers Alive may be able to provide t-shirts for organizers with spring and early summer events. Email [email protected] to inquire about sizes and t-shirt availability. 

    *Please note that at a minimum, you must enter the following information after your event to be eligible for materials in the future:

    - Volunteer Numbers
    - Volunteer Hours
    - Miles Cleaned
    - Trash Bags OR Dumpsters
    - Debris pounds OR tons

    Contact Rivers Alive staff with any questions or concerns related to reporting: [email protected].