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:

  1. Do you have permission by the land owner to cleanup at your chosen location?
  2. Do you know where your supplies (Bags and Gloves) should be sent to?
  3. 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 are mandatory. You can find the coordinates by typing your location in on Google Maps. Right click on the map and you will see the drop down menu, “what’s here” will show you the coordinates.

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.


Volunteer Recruitment

  • 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 Flyer)


Arrange Trash Removal

  • Identify collection & removal stations within the site.
  • Establish a trash removal plan.
  • Contact appropriate agencies/staff for assistance.


Pick-up Supplies

  • 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:


  1. Make sure you have the required supplies and have reviewed safety information
  2. Arrive early and take pictures of existing hazards and note any safety hazards
  3. Welcome volunteers and give safety talk. Watch video here.
  4. Give out supplies to volunteers and assign them to areas
  5. Remind volunteers to sort recyclables and non-recyclables
  6. Take pictures throughout the cleanup and make yourself available to answer questions
  7. Wrap up the cleanup and fill out the data sheet.
  8. Make sure the trash and recyclables are disposed of properly
  9. Report your data back to AFF before May 1.



NOTE: Disposal arrangements are the responsibility of the Site Leader. Alice Ferguson Foundation DOES NOT provide trash disposal.
Helpful Hints:

  • 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!
  • If you have any questions about trash disposal, PLEASE call us! We are happy to connect you with the right people. It is very important that you confirm trash pick up for your site. ​Thank you!


Waste Management partners and County Agencies:


Site Leader Training Workshops


Site Leader Training Workshops
We encourage all site leaders to participate in one training. The training will be 30 minutes long, and there is a 30 minute time frame for questions and answers.

When: Thursday, February 25th 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Where: Webinar through Join.Me (all you need is internet access)

RSVP Deadline: Wednesday, February 24th


When: Tuesday, March 1st, 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Where: Webinar through Join.Me (all you need is internet access)

RSVP Deadline: Monday, February 29th


When: Sunday, March 13th, 3:00 p.m-4:00 p.m

Where: Webinar through Join.Me (all you need is internet access)

RSVP Deadline: Friday, March 11


When: Thursday, March 24th, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where: Webinar through Join.Me

RSVP Deadline: Wednesday, March 23rd


When: Thursday, March 31, 6:30-7:30

Where: Webinar through Join.Me

RSVP Deadline: Wednesday, March 30th

Please RSVP by emailing [email protected] 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 Supply Info


Supply amounts are based on site registration information. Supplies are NOT guaranteed to site leaders after the registration deadline.

AFF provides:

  • Heavy-duty yellow trash bags
  • Mid-grade blue recyclables bags
  • Rubber-coated cotton work gloves
  • Data Sheets


Supply Pick-up


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
Phone: 202-895-6225
Email: [email protected]gov 
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
Phone: 703-324-1422
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: Donna Slaymaker

Phone: 703-780-7518
Address: 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306
*southern Fairfax County

Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District
Contact: Jeannie Heflin
Phone: 571-379-7514
Email: [email protected]
Address: 8850 Rixlew Lane, VA 20109
Instructions: Call or e-mail to request date and time for pickup
Date & Time: 8:00am-4:30pm

Reston Association 
Contact: Nicki Bellezza, Watershed Manager
Email: [email protected]
Address: 12250 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, VA 20190
Instructions: Call ahead to request date and time for pickup.
* In Northern Fairfax



Contact: Curtis Dalpra
Phone: 301.274.8107
Email: [email protected]
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
Phone: 301-495-2476
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



Alice Ferguson Foundation 
Phone: 301-292-5665
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
Email: [email protected]
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
Phone: 301-932-3569
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
Phone: 301.745.8889
Email:  [email protected]
Address: 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740
* For C&O Canal Sites