Site Leader Center
We have launched a new database to help make the registration process for the Cleanup go more smoothly and to allow event leaders to share trash related events year-round. If you have been a site leader in the past (prior to 2013), please go here to learn how to have your past Cleanup data and site information transferred to you in the new database.
Before You Register your Cleanup Site today please be sure you can answer “YES” to the following:
- Do you have permission by the land owner to cleanup at your chosen location?
- If you are in Charles County please contact Frances Sherman: Phone: 301-932-3569, Email: ShermanF@charlescounty.org
- If you are in Montgomery County Parks please contact Henry Coppola: Phone: 301-495-2476, Email: email@example.com. When emailing, please include PRWC in the subject line.
- If you are in Fairfax County please contact Dan Schwartz: Phone: 703-324-1422, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are in Prince George’s County please contact Udoma Ohiri: Phone: 301-883-5829 Email: email@example.com or contact Alfred Titus-Glover: Phone: 301-883-7164 ATitus-Glover@co.pg.md.us
- If you are in Prince William County please contact Andrea Saccoccia: Phone: 571-379-7514, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are in Rock Creek Park please contact Karen Zeiter: Email: email@example.com
- If you are along the Anacostia River please contact Ann Desanctis: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are registering a site in the C&O National Historic Park please contact Becky Curtis: Phone: 301-714-2233, Email: email@example.com
- If you are registering a site in the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park please contact Samantha Zurbuch: Phone: 304-535-5017, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are on National Park land please call the headquarters of the individual park you are cleaning up www.nps.gov You will also need a NPS Volunteer Service Agreement
- Do you know where your supplies (Bags and Gloves) should be sent to?
- Do you have Directions to get to your cleanup site from a major roadway? Please provide directions even if you are an adopted site. GPS Coordinates of your Cleanup sites are not mandatory but are very helpful.
If you have replied YES to all of these questions you are ready to register your Cleanup Site!
To register your site, visit the Trash Free Potomac Network
Below is a list of site leader responsibilities. For more detailed information, a cleanup planning checklist, and a sample cleanup schedule, please download the Site Leader Planning Guide here: Site Leader Planning Guide
Prior to Cleanup:
Site Selection, Assessment & Registration
- Choose a site & get permission.
- Identify parking, a meeting place and access to Cleanup location.
- Remove visibly unsafe trash.
- Officially register your site with AFF.
- AFF will conduct volunteer recruitment; however, the most successful cleanups are when site leaders conduct outreach as well.
- Post flyers, send emails, and talk to friends and family about your event. (Full Page Flier)
Arrange Trash Removal
- Identify collection & removal stations within the site.
- Establish a trash removal plan.
- Contact appropriate agencies/staff for assistance.
- Contact AFF for supply distribution stations.
- Dates for pickup will be posted in March
Safety & HAZMAT Preparation
- Prepare a homemade HAZMAT container from a used laundry detergent bottle.
- Assess the site ahead of time and remove visibly unsafe trash.
- Contact county health department with additional concerns.
Day of Cleanup:
- Make sure you have a the required supplies and have reviewed safety information
- Arrive early and take pictures of existing hazards and note any safety hazards
- Welcome volunteers and give safety talk. Watch video here.
- Give out supplies to volunteers and assign them to areas
- Remind volunteers to sort recyclables and non-recyclables
- Take pictures throughout the cleanup and make yourself available to answer questions
- Wrap up the cleanup and fill out the data sheet.
- Make sure the trash and recyclables are disposed of properly
- Report you data back to AFF as soon as possible.
- If you choose a site that is Federal or State run, such as a park, they will usually help you dispose of the trash. You will also need their permission prior to Cleanup. Contact the organization as far in advance as possible. They may help in other ways.
- Local businesses, churches, schools, etc. may donate use of their dumpsters. Contact them prior to the event.
- Divide the Cleanup “spoils” among volunteers and have them put the trash & recyclables out with curbside pick up.
- Call your local landfill to ask for a dumping waiver. They are usually very happy to provide a waiver for you to properly dispose of the trash for free. However, they need time to mail you waiver documents.
- If you have large amounts of trash that would call for a dumpster, often times your local waste removal company will be glad to donate a dumpster for the day, delivered and picked-up!
Waste Management partners and County Agencies:
- Fairfax County, VA:
- City of Alexandria, VA
- City of Arlington, VA
- Prince William County, VA
- Loudoun County, VA
- Montgomery County, MD
- Prince George’s County, MD
- Saint Mary’s County, MD
- Charles County, MD
- Morgan County, WV
Site Leader Training Workshops
We encourage all new site leaders to either attend an in person training or watch the training video that is posted here.
When: Thursday, March 12th, 6:30pm-8:00pm
Where: Webinar through Uberconference
RSVP Deadline: Wednesday, March 11th (login information mailed upon confirmation)
Capacity: 10 participants
When: Saturday, March 21st, 10:30am- 12:00pm
Where: Webinar through Uberconference
RSVP Deadline: Friday, March 20th (login information mailed upon confirmation)
Capacity: 10 participants
When: Thursday, March 26th, 7:00pm- 8:30pm
RSVP Deadline: Tuesday, March 24th
Capacity: 20 participants
Please RSVP by emailing email@example.com to attend one of these workshops
Site Leader Safety Training Video
Safety Guidelines & HAZMAT Info
What is HAZMAT?: HAZMAT (short for hazardous materials) include items such as hypodermic needles, any sealed containers filled with fluid, personal protection and hygiene products, unknown toxic chemicals and any medical waste.
How To Make A HAZMAT Container:Use a heavy plastic detergent bottle with a screw top & handle for ease in carrying. Loosely attach a pair of tongs to the handle. Clearly mark the container with a HAZMAT label.
Safety and HAZMAT Collection Tips:
- Individuals with open wounds should not expose them to the stream water.
- Wear protective gloves and boots to avoid sharp objects.
- Site leaders should point out any safety hazards such as particularly muddy areas, steep banks, rocky areas, etc.
- Review with volunteers the appropriate safety precautions regarding materials not to be handled: sealed barrels, gas canisters, full beverage containers, aerosol cans (they may explode if there is compressed gas inside)
- Do not open any unopened containers.
- Avoid eating, drinking, smoking, or touching eyes, and mouth, until hands are washed.
- Medical waste & HAZMAT materials should only be handled by the site leader or other designated leader and disposed of in a HAZMAT container.
- Have a first aid kit easily accessible & in a convenient, visible location.
- Have clean and sterile water on hand for washing and drinking.
- The person collecting HAZMAT materials should wear a double layer of latex gloves and steel toe or thick leather boots — not canvas shoes!
- HAZMAT materials should be picked up with a pair of tongs – do not allow contact with skin!
- When placing a needle in the HAZMAT container, place the container on the ground before inserting the needle, point down, using tongs. Sharps Procedures
- At the conclusion of the cleanup: remove & dispose of the top pair of gloves, sterilize the tongs, remove and dispose of second pair of gloves and container in a sealed trash bag. Wash hands carefully. For extra protection, you may fill the HAZMAT container with plaster of Paris.
- If a volunteer is pricked by a needle wipe off skin and clean with alcohol. Then wash with soap and running water. To avoid risk of infection injured person should consult a physician.
To report injured wildlife, please contact the Wildlife Rescue League at 703-440-0800.
Alice Ferguson Foundation and Potomac River Watershed Cleanup partners are not liable for any accidents or injuries that may occur during this event. The list of suggested safety behaviors is not a complete listing of all necessary safety precautions. Please be safe!
Site Leader Resources
- Cleanup results/data sheet
- Site Leader Planning Guide
- Full Page Flier
- Volunteer Sign in Waiver
- Volunteer Certificate of Appreciation
- NPS Volunteer Service Agreement (required for all individuals or groups participating in cleanups located on National Park, Forest, Battlefield, Seashore, etc)
Cleanup Supply Info
Supply amounts are based on site registration information. Supplies are NOT guaranteed to site leaders after the registration deadline.
- Heavy-duty yellow trash bags
- Mid-grade blue recyclables bags
- Rubber-coated cotton work gloves
- Data Sheets
Main Distribution: Alice Ferguson Foundation – Accokeek, Maryland
Regional Pick-up Stations – A list of distribution sites are below. You must select that you need supplies and your preferred pick-up location during registration to insure delivery of your supplies to your pick-up location. Supplies will be delivered to distribution points in late March.
Find a pick-up location in your region:
Rock Creek National Park, Nature Center
Contact: Maggie Zadorozny
Address: 5200 Glover Road, Washington, D.C. 20015
Date & Time for Pick-up: Contact Maggie
Instructions: Follow signs in the Park to the Nature Center. Check in at the front desk or call ahead.
* Servicing NW DC and Rock Creek Sites Only
City of Alexandria
Contact: Sara DeGroot
Phone: o. 703-746-4127, c. 571-289-1297
Address: 2900 Business Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22314
Instructions: Please call ahead to schedule pick up between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.
* Servicing Alexandria and Northern Virginia locations
Fairfax County Government Center
Contact: Dan Schwartz
Address: 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 905, Fairfax, VA 22035
Instructions: Call and request a date & time to pick up supplies.
Date & Time for Pick-up: Supply pick up available during business hours.
* Servicing Fairfax County and Northern Virginia locations
Office of Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross
Contact: Charles Barkhimer
Phone: (703) 256-7717
Fax: (703) 354-8419
Address: 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA. 22003
Instructions: Please call ahead – 8:30am-4:30pm
* In Eastern Fairfax
Office of Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland
Contact: Susie Ven
Phone: 703-780-7518 x 4325
Address: 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306
*southern Fairfax County
Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District
Contact: Andrea Saccoccia
Address: 8850 Rixlew Lane, VA 20109
Instructions: Call or e-mail to request date and time for pickup
Date & Time: 8:00am-4:30pm
Contact: Nicki Bellezza, Watershed Manager
Address: 12250 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, VA 20190
Instructions: Call ahead to request date and time for pickup.
* In Northern Fairfax
Great Falls area
Contact: Stella Koch
Phone: (703) 759-5453 – home, (703) 628-6983 – mobile
Contact: Curtis Dalpra
Address: 30 W. Gude Drive, Suite 450, Rockville, MD 20850
Date & Time for Pick-up: Call ahead to make arrangements.
Instructions: Call or email ahead of time to schedule a time for pickup.
* Servicing Rockville & Frederick, MD locations
Montgomery County Parks and Planning
Contact: Henry Coppola
Instructions: Contact at least two days in advance to schedule pick-up times. Pick-ups can be scheduled between 8:30am-5:00pm.
Directions: 495 (Beltway) to Georgia Avenue Exit. Go North on Georgia Avenue. Take a quick right on Forest Glen Road. A little under a mile, take a right on Sligo Creek Parkway. After passing golf course on left side, look for Brunett Avenue, take left. First road on left is driveway up hill to Parkside Headquarters. Go up hill, and park anywhere in lot. If picking up large quantity of supplies, make prior arrangements to drive directly to shed behind building (reserved parking only). Address is 9500 Brunett Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20901.
* Servicing Silver Spring and Montgomery County locations
Potomac Conservancy – Headquarters
Contact: Hedrick Belin
Address: 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 805, Silver Spring, MD 20910
* Servicing C&O Canal & Bethesda locations and Potomac Conservancy sites
Alice Ferguson Foundation
Address: 2001 Bryan Point Road, Accokeek, MD 20607
Date & Time for Pick-up: Please contact
Prince George’s County Government Center
Contact: Udomah Ohiri
Phone: 301 883-5829
Address: 1220 Caraway Court, Suite 1050, Largo, Maryland 20774
Check back for instructions
* Servicing Prince George’s County
Charles County – Department of Public Works
Contact: Frances ‘Frankie’ Sherman
Address: 1001 Radio Station Road, La Plata, Maryland 20646
Date & Time for Pick-up: Supplies will be available April 6 – 10, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Charles County’s Public Works Administration Building, 10420 Audie Lane, La Plata, MD 20646.
Instructions: Contact Frankie if a different pick-up date or time is needed.
* Servicing Charles County, St. Mary’s County & King George, VA
C&O Canal Trust
Contact: Becky Curtis
Address: 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740
* For C&O Canal Sites