Quantcast Cleanup FAQs - United By Blue

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More Information About Our Cleanups

How We Execute Our Mission

Community Cleanups

These cleanups are volunteer-driven, community-oriented events in which we invite local volunteers, businesses, nonprofits, and community groups to come together and clean up a local waterway.

These Cleanups allow us to get our hands dirty alongside the communities that support us, and help us educate and spread the message about trash/debris in waterways and oceans. Join us for a cleanup near you here !

Note: The pounds pulled from these cleanups make up a very small percentage of our overall weight haul each year.


High-Yield Cleanups

The majority of the pounds of trash that we pull in each year come from a combination of high-yield cleanup projects. These projects can range from illegal dumpsite cleanups to offshore, lost-at-sea fishing gear recovery.

We coordinate the logistics and fund the operations of these cleanups, and track the weight hauled from each project.

Where The Trash Goes

Each cleanup, we determine the safest and most sustainable way to dispose of the marine debris and coastline trash that we haul in. We recycle clean, newer plastics, glass, and cardboard with local recyclers. If we can’t work with the local municipality for this service, we pay out of pocket for private, responsible, and traceable recyclers. If/when we encounter specialized materials, like metals, batteries, electronics, etc., we contact specialized recyclers and pay for their proper disposal.

For items that cannot be recycled or composted, we properly dispose of all trash and debris with a local landfill.

What’s Next?

Each year, our weight goals steadily increase (thanks to your purchases, which allow us to pull more pounds out of oceans and waterways!). In the next year, we’ll be investigating new ways to remove marine debris from coastlines, rivers, and offshore areas. We’re looking into new trash capture technologies, on-water litter traps, etc.

Do you have an idea for how we can better capture marine debris? Or a relevant project you think we may be interested in being a part of? Let us know at cleanup@unitedbyblue.com ! We’re all ears.


Do you really pick up a pound for every product purchased?


Absolutely! We monitor our “items sold” counts very closely to know exactly how many pounds of trash we need to remove from waterways. Each year, we create a “weight haul” goal that is based off of the previous year’s “items sold” count to keep us accountable on a yearly basis.

Currently, we have actually removed more pounds of trash than the number of products we have sold, so we’re ahead! We plan to keep it that way.


I just placed an order, when will my pounds of trash be picked up?


As our sales team has annual goals - so does our Cleanups department! Our annual weight-haul goals are based on the previous year’s sales. For example, in 2017 we sold about 500,000 products. This made our 2018 weight goal 500,000 lbs (we hit 533,000 lbs!). These annualized weight goals keep us aligned with our total number of products sold.

So - long story short - if you purchased 3 products in 2018, those 3 pounds will be pulled within 2019!


Why do we have to buy items for you to pick up trash? Shouldn’t you do it anyway?


As our business grows, we are tied to removing more and more pounds of trash from waterways each year. In 2019 alone, we will remove 1 million pounds of marine debris from waterways, coastlines, and oceans around the country. To remove marine debris at this scale requires considerable funding, and your purchase directly funds this mission. While nonprofits work through foundations and grants, and community groups fundraise, we, as a Benefit Corporation, use our revenue to fund our own, in-house conservation efforts. Your purchases are essentially highly valuable “donations” to our waterway cleanups program, and you get a cool product in return for your “donation!”

Side note - outside of work, our UBB team walks the talk regardless of products purchased. Our employees host their own neighborhood cleanups, bring a trash bag out while hiking, and get their friends and families out for each Blue Friday (our take on an eco-positive Black Friday)! Our mission is not a marketing ploy - it is authentically ingrained into every decision we make here at United By Blue, and is deeply important to each and every employee at UBB.


My group wants to join a cleanup, can I register in bulk?


Yes! The more the merrier. If you choose to register as a group, your group leader should follow these steps:

    1. Begin registration at the Eventbrite link of the cleanup of your choice (found here)
    2. Click Register > Group > Create Group
    3. Name your group (whatever you'd like)
    4. You are now the "Group Manager" of this group, meaning, you can always log-in and see who has registered within your group. As the "Group Manager," you'll be able to keep track of who has signed up within your group, email the group members straight from Eventbrite, and utilize other features available to you.
    5. Then, just instruct your team to choose Group Registration when signing up, and type in your group name!

Can I join a clean up once it's already closed?


We always welcome walk-in’s to our cleanups! If pre-registration fills up, feel free to just show up the morning of the cleanup. We’ll be sure to have extra cleanup supplies for you :)


What should I bring to a cleanup?


We provide all cleanup supplies, including trash/recycling bags and gloves. We also provide water, sunscreen, bug spray, and hand sanitizer. At community cleanup events, volunteers will receive a free stainless steel water bottle.

We recommend wearing long pants and closed-toe shoes to our cleanups. You are welcome to bring your own trash-picker if you’d like!


Are all ages and abilities welcome at cleanup events?


Unless specified in the event description, we welcome all ages and abilities at our cleanup events. Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian pre-register for the cleanup on their behalf ahead of time in order to sign our Minor Waiver, or, come to the cleanup accompanied by a parent or guardian. For volunteers under the age of 14, we ask that a parent/guardian attend the cleanup with the Minor regardless.

If you have questions/concerns regarding the accessibility of the cleanup location, please reach out to cleanup@unitedbyblue.com prior to the event to discuss accommodations.


What is the Waterway Cleanups Tour?


In 2019, we will be bringing our Community Cleanups to you - our customers and followers! We want you to get your hands dirty alongside of us at a beach, river, or stream cleanup in your hometown. We’re so grateful for our customers and followers all over the world, so we want to use our mission to help clean up our collective waterways. After all, we’re all United By Blue.

We hope to continue hitting new locations, cities, and countries in 2020 and beyond! If you’re city isn’t on the list for 2019, check back in January 2020 for our new list of cleanup locations for next year.


How can my company/organization partner with UBB on a cleanup?


We welcome event partners that help amplify our cleanup events in the following ways:

    1. Promotional (assists with recruiting 40+ volunteers per cleanup through marketing, social media, etc.)
    2. Educational (adds a relevant educational component to the cleanup)
    3. Logistical (adds a necessary component to the event structure, like permits, location scouting, catering, etc.)

If you think your company / organization fits one of these categories, please reach out to cleanup@unitedbyblue to chat further!


Note : We always welcome corporate groups / organizations to volunteer at our cleanups with no obligation other than showing up. If you’re just looking for a way to get out in your community, I encourage you to join us at a cleanup near you! For groups larger than 30, please contact cleanup@unitedbyblue.com at least 2 weeks prior to the cleanup to coordinate.


Can I suggest a cleanup location?


We always welcome cleanup location suggestions! Please note, we are looking for locations that are in need of the help of 100 - 200 volunteers, and are located within 100 ft of a waterway or coastline. If you have a spot that matches these requirements, feel free to email cleanup@unitedbyblue with the specifications.

We will take all recommendations into account in November of each year to begin planning the following year’s cleanup locations. If your recommendation is being considered for our following year’s schedule, we will reach out at that time!

If your city/area isn’t on our schedule, we encourage you to host a community cleanup of your own! You can grab a DIY cleanup kit here , and head out into your community to get cleaning.


What do I do if I can't make the cleanup I signed up for?


If you can no longer attend a cleanup, you can cancel your pre-registration on Eventbrite. If you log-in to Eventbrite, click "Tickets" under your profile, and click into the cleanup event, you will see a "Cancel Order" button. While not required, we appreciate you taking the time to cancel, as this helps us keep an accurate count of volunteers to prepare for supplies!


Meet Our Cleanups Team


Community Cleanups Coordinator


Dumpsite Cleanups Coordinator


Community Cleanups Intern

Cleanups Road Crew Member Form

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