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Giving Back in Cincinnati: Community Cleanups in the Time of COVID-19

Volunteer Cleaning Up for Give Back Cincinnati
By:Liz Kane| Last Updated:03/25/2024
Time to Read: 3 min

Giving Back in Cincinnati

2020 has been a year unlike any other, and while the country works to create a “new normal,” organizations have gotten creative in finding ways to give back. This fall, volunteer group Give Back Cincinnati started a new socially distanced community cleanup effort, called “Quarenteering.”


About Give Back Cincinnati

Give Back Cincinnati was founded in 2000 by a small group of friends looking for ways to give back to their community. Since then, the group has grown to include more than 3,000 members who donate thousands of volunteer hours each year to making an impact in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Give Back Cincinnati’s efforts include cleaning up trash in local parks and waterways, painting for neighbors in need and creating community gardens.

Budget Dumpster first got involved with the organization as a sponsor of their Don’t Rock the Boat river cleanup event in 2019. This year, Budget Dumpster provided a dumpster donation for Give Back Cincinnati’s social distancing cleanup, Quarenteering in Winton Woods.

Give Back Cincinnati Volunteers at Park Cleanup

The Quarenteering Volunteer Series

While Give Back Cincinnati had been operating virtually since March, the group felt inspired to do more. In September, they revamped their Hands-On event series and organized three socially distanced park cleanups in the area.

Budget Dumpster is proud to have sponsored the October 10th Winton Woods cleanup with a dumpster donation. Following recommended state and federal COVID-19 precautions, Give Back Cincinnati capped event attendance, broke up volunteers into groups, provided masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to all participants, and made sure volunteers stayed a minimum of six feet apart throughout the cleanup. Volunteers were able to clean up 100 bags of trash from Winton Lake and the surrounding trails throughout the event series, while maintaining safe practices.

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“Our volunteers were ready to return and start contributing to the city they live in. It was not easy, but volunteering can definitely be done in a safe manner. We spent weeks planning, and ultimately it led to a very successful and safe event.”
Jordan Klette-Cusher, Development Director | Give Back Cincinnati

Volunteers Cleaning Up Waterway at Cincinnati Park

Socially-Distanced Ways to Clean Up Trash in Your Neighborhood

Looking for ways to clean up your community this year? When planning a cleanup, whether it’s with a small group or on your own, be sure to follow these 7 safe practice tips:

  • Choose a cleanup location where it will be possible to maintain at least a six-foot distance between yourself and others.
  • If parks in your neighborhood are open, consider how many other people will be there at the time you plan to go.
  • Wear disposable gloves while cleaning up trash, and properly remove and dispose of them as soon as you’re done. Take each glove off by grabbing the opening near your wrist, and pull it towards your fingers to turn the glove inside out.
  • Wash your hands often, and use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol in between washings.
  • Have the other members of your group bring their own supplies, such as gloves, trash grabbers and trash bags, to avoid unnecessary contact.
  • Avoid touching any surfaces, such as benches, railings and playground equipment.
  • Sanitize any gear used during your cleanup efforts before returning home.

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“Typically our volunteer events have 50 or more people attend, and everyone is free to mingle around. However, because of the current environment, we are separating into teams of 10 that volunteer together and we only interact with those we’re partnered with. In addition to size restrictions, we have mandatory safety precautions that must be followed. Masks were worn at all times, a minimum of 6 feet was maintained between individuals, hand sanitizer was available, and gloves were offered.”
Jordan Klette-Cusher, Development Director | Give Back Cincinnati

Volunteer Picking Up Trash During Community Cleanup
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“Without a dumpster, the event would not have been successful. It does not matter how much trash our volunteers are able to pick up if we do not have a safe and responsible way of disposing of the garbage. Having the dumpster on-site made it incredibly easy for our volunteers to quickly dispose of everything once the event was wrapping up. Instead of having to transport the garbage off-site to be disposed of, we simply had to walk a few feet to throw everything away.”
Jordan Klette-Cusher, Development Director | Give Back Cincinnati


Not sure where to start when it comes to community cleanup? Learn more about requesting a free dumpster!