Frequently Asked Questions
How do I participate?
The Cleanup Challenge is a team event, so the first step is to gather a team – anywhere from 3 people up to several hundred – an choose a date and location for your cleanup. Then visit our Register page and follow the directions to register your group! If you would like to do a cleanup activity outside the official Cleanup Challenge period (Jan 1 – Dec 1), contact info@HKcleanup.org. We are happy to provide support, and can also help organise a fully managed cleanup event for your group any time of year for an additional fee.
Do I need to sign up ahead of time?
YES. We request that all teams sign up at least 2 weeks before their chosen cleanup date in order to have enough time to attend a briefing and complete payment, as well as collect and submit your team member details, which must be received before your event.
Do I have to register as a team, and provide everyone's details?
YES. We encourage you to invite your friends, family, colleagues, community members… the more the merrier! Please note that it is important to submit the names of all your invited participants prior to your cleanup day so that we can record participant numbers as well as offer your team members many of the same benefits you will receive as the team captain, including educational materials and access to Hong Kong Cleanup resources. If any member of your team wishes to opt out of these entitlements, you must still provide their name for our records; simply select the opt-out option on the downloadable team members form. Please also note that parental approval is required for participants under 16 of age, and participants under 12 should be accompanied by a participant over 16 to any cleanup event.
Why do I need to pay a registration fee?
As a nonprofit event, the Hong Kong Cleanup operates with the support of our sponsors and community. This small contribution helps the Hong Kong Cleanup team to ensure that our work continues to thrive, and covers the administrative and hard costs of providing you with everything you’ll need to participate. To thank you for your support, every registered team leader receives:
- One team registration in the Cleanup Challenge
- Attendance at a dedicated ‘how-to’ cleanup seminar
- Guides, Tips and Data Materials for your cleanup
- One Hong Kong Cleanup Team Captain t-shirt
- One Hong Kong Cleanup reusable water bottle (made from recycled plastic!)
- A yearlong subscription to Ecozine eco-living magazine
- Invitation to the Cleanup Awards event
- One Team Certificate in recognition of your participation
- Charity discounts with our merchandise partners
- Educational poster and postcards for your use
- Access to regular updates, news and invitations for everyone on your team
What is the best time of year for a cleanup?
To officially enter the Cleanup Challenge you need to carry out your event between January 1st and December 1st. Cleanups, both regular and managed, can also take place outside the Challenge season – email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
What is the best time of the day for a cleanup?
The most suitable time of day (morning vs afternoon) for your cleanup will vary depending on the location and date of your cleanup, however we do recommend the following:
Groups should check the Hong Kong Government tide charts so that you can conduct your cleanup when the tide is low and the beach most exposed.
Groups should leave enough time to complete the cleanup and exit the park well before sunset.
Groups should consider doing a cleanup very early in the morning, as this is when the streets really reveal the amount of litter that we subject them to. By mid morning, our dedicated city workers have often swept much of it away, either into receptacles or down storm drains and out to sea.
Also, bear in mind that the sun is strongest around midday, so be prepared with extra water and sun protection if you choose a midday event.
What should I bring on the day of my cleanup?
Visit our Events Materials page for a downloadable checklist of cleanup necessities and handy things to bring along.
What should I wear during the cleanup?
1. Comfortable closed-toe shoes are a must for cleanups; slippers or sandals are not recommended, as surfaces may be slippery or uneven. For coastal cleanups sturdy waterproof footwear can be useful in some places.
2. A hat or cap and sunblock lotion (> SPF 15) to protect from the sun, or other weather-appropriate apparel and precautions.
3. Citronella oil or insect repellent to protect against mosquitoes and sandflies.
4. At least one REUSABLE water bottle, filled, for your consumption. It’s important not to add to the single-use plastic waste problem during your cleanup activity!.
How do I know what the tides will be like during my cleanup?
It is very important to check the tides for the day of your event if you’re planning a coastal cleanup. The best time to organise a cleanup is at low tide when more of the beach is exposed; this is especially important for smaller beaches that can be inundated with water during high tide or those where access is limited during high tide.
Prior to planning your cleanup event, you should check the tides at your chosen site using the Hong Kong Government’s Predicted Tides website (chose the site closest to where you’re planning your cleanup).
How long should my cleanup be?
You are free to decide this for yourself based on the nature of your event and participants involved. However, in our experience the average time for coastal cleanups is typically between 1.5 and 2 hours while country and city cleanups vary depending on the length and challenge level of the route you select.
You may wish to plan a longer cleanup but, particularly in warmer weather, it is important to gauge your participant’s comfort and welfare and adjust your time accordingly if needed. When selecting a country cleanup trail, we suggest that you choose one that suits all members of your group, allowing enough time for the slowest participant to complete the walk.
Do I need to collect data?
YES. While we appreciate all cleanup efforts, the data is a vital, long-lasting result of cleaning a beach, hiking trail or city streets that will inevitably (unfortunately) get dirty again. The data collected by our volunteers is compiled and analyzed so we can better understand the challenge, both locally and globally, and create awareness, action, and industry recommendations to help solve the issue.
How do I find out if there are bathrooms, lifeguards, trash containers, shark nets, stairs, parking lot, minibus stop, safety hazards, etc at my chosen beach or hiking trail?
While we make efforts to provide up to date information on the beaches and trails in our list of cleanup locations, we may not have all the information you need.
We very highly recommend doing a site visit to your chosen beach or walking your chosen trail before your cleanup day so you can be clear on its accessibility and what facilities are available.
We’re also crowdsourcing beach, trail and street details; if you discover important details at your chosen location (or any location) that is not included in our maps, feel free to email us at email@example.com with your photos and descriptions!
What should I do with shells, driftwood, stones and other natural items?
Nothing. Please leave them on the beach or hiking trail – they aren’t trash!
What should I do if I find a dead/entangled animal?
Please contact the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department at 1823.
Do you have a certificate to acknowledge my participation in the Hong Kong Cleanup?
After your cleanup, once you have submitted your data, you can download a certificates of participation from our Events Materials page.
Can I cancel or reschedule a coastal/country cleanup due to bad weather?
YES. We do not want to put our cleanup volunteers in danger or discomfort! You may use your own discretion; we have posted our guidelines below. If you have a last-minute cancellation, we appreciate being notified at info@HKcleanup.org. Please note that while we will do our best to accommodate rescheduled cleanups, since sites are allocated first-come, first-served, you may not be able to have your first choice of site upon rescheduling.
Coastal Cleanup Challenge Weather Advice
Typhoon Signal No. 8 or above – Cancel
Black Rainstorm Warning – Cancel
Red Rainstorm Warning – Cancel
Amber Rainstorm Warning – Cancel
Typhoon Signal No. 3 – Cancel
Typhoon Signal No. 1 – Cancel
Landslide Warning – Cancel
Thunderstorm Warning – Cancel