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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the River Sweep an annual event?
Yes, the River Sweep is an annual cleanup event held each year on the third Saturday in June. Improvements in river water quality have caused an increase in the recreational use of the river. This increase has led to more litter on the riverbanks. Thus, a yearly cleanup program is needed to keep the river suitable for public use. In addition to keeping the riverbanks clean, ORSANCO hopes that increased public exposure to the river will foster greater environmental concern for it in the future.

Who should participate?
Anyone wanting to make a difference in the quality of the Ohio River should participate. The River Sweep provides an excellent opportunity for many civic groups, school organizations, and recreational clubs to actively participate in a community service event. Any individual, young or old, or any group is welcome. Children under 18 need a parent signature on the liability waiver before participating.

What will I gain from participating in the Sweep?
You will play an active role in improving your environment. You also will be part of a very unique experience - the river-long Sweep is one of the largest cleanup events of its kind in the United States.

What happens to trash collected from the riverbanks?
All trash is either recycled or disposed of in an environmentally acceptable manner.

Are there designated cleanup sites on the river?
Yes. There will be at least one designated cleanup area for each of the counties bordering the river, plus additional sites along tributaries. Areas will be chosen according to the amount of litter on the site and accessibility to volunteers. Marinas and boat ramps typically make good cleanup areas. To locate the site(s) for your county, click here, or contact ORSANCO's toll-free Sweep Hotline at 1-800-359-3977.

What should I wear and/or bring to the River Sweep?
Wear old, comfortable clothes and shoes or boots that you won't mind getting dirty. Close-toed shoes are also recommended.  Trash bags and a limited number of gloves will be provided.  If you have work gloves, please bring your own.

Is there danger involved?
River Sweep can be a fun day, filled with good company and the knowledge that the river will be cleaner from your efforts. However, you should keep a few things in mind to keep the event free of accidents:

  • Watch where you walk and avoid broken glass, rusty nails, and poison ivy.
  • Always wear gloves.
  • Never place yourself in a dangerous situation, such as trying to get trash floating in the river.
  • Don't get in the water.
  • Stay away from thick, brushy areas.
  • Avoid high cliffs.
  • Watch for traffic when working in a pull-over area along the side of the road.
  • Volunteers must sign a waiver of liability, and anyone under 18 years old must have parental permission to participate. An on-site supervisor will be available.

For more information, please call Lisa Cochran, River Sweep Project Manager, at 1-800-359-3977.