Frequently Asked Questions About Cache In Trash Out®
Cache In Trash Out® is an ongoing environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. To better assist you in event planning, we have included a list of FAQs. If you have a question that is not listed here, please search the Cache In Trash Out Forum and see if your question has been answered or post a new question. The community is a wonderful source of information and encouragement.
For Event Organizers:
- I want to organize a CITO event. Who should I contact locally?
- CITO events are organized by geocachers. The first step is to choose an area that is important to you; an area that you think needs extra attention. If you are unsure about which location is best, call a local park manager or geocaching organization. They can provide assistance and support in selecting the best location.
- What should I discuss with the land manager?
Now that you have selected a potential area for clean-up, make sure that you ask the land manager for permission and access to resources.
- Are there areas of the park that need special attention?
- Are any areas of the park specifically off-limits?
- Many parks have day use fees. Will volunteers receive free park entry and parking?
- Will restrooms be open if the park is closed to regular visitors?
- Will the park supply work gloves, latex gloves and/or trash bags?
- Will trash cans or a large dumpster be available for use?
- What are the procedures for materials that may be flammable or otherwise dangerous?
- Do any invasive plant species need to be removed?
- What should we bring?
Depending on the length of your event and the resources provided by the location, you will want to plan for the following resources to be available for your volunteers:
- Drinking water is essential. Provide access to water or remind everyone to bring their own.
- Trash bags. Ask for trash collection materials to be donated by the location, local stores, or your area's local environmental awareness program.
- Gloves, safety vests or other protective gear.
- First aid needs. Consider minor injuries, bug bites, allergic reactions, sunburns, etc.
- A special stick with a pointy tip is very handy to get trash out of icky places.
- Food for volunteers is often welcome.
- Cell phones and a list of pertinent phone numbers may be helpful if you are dispersing over a large area.
- Camera, if possible. Remember to take pictures and upload them to the CITO event page.
- Some method for people to get themselves cleaned up after the clean-up event would be ideal.
- How long do we work?
- These events can last for a few hours and even up to several days. Each person can decide for themselves how long they can help. Perhaps there are a couple of shifts of volunteers. Inform your crew of the details. Give people some pointers on what to do and where to go if they arrive a little later than the posted start time.
- Where does the trash go at the end of the day?
- Be sure to discuss this with the land manager before undertaking the project. They can help you make arrangements for local landfills to donate space, and even arrange for pickup and/or delivery of the trash. Decide ahead of time what to do with broken glass. Discarded automobile tires can sometimes be an added challenge as some locations require that they be recycled, rather than thrown away in the landfill. The local experts will know best.
- What if it rains?
- Decide this ahead of time and post this clearly on the event page. Keep in mind that the terrain and difficulty ratings may increase with inclement weather and that will determine much of your attendance and productivity.
- How do I post my event online?
- Now that you have determined all of your event details, you are ready to post your event! Use the online form at www.geocaching.com/seek and specify your "cache type" as a Cache In Trash Out Event. Events can be posted up to three months in advance. Make sure to include all of the important event information so that attendees know where to meet, what to bring and what resources will be available.
- It may be best to post a few event coordinates. For instance, the meeting location may be very different than the actual clean-up area. For tips on how to add additional waypoints, review getting started with geocaching.
- How do I get people to help me?
It is important to actively promote your Cache In Trash Out event. Here are a few suggestions for generating community excitement and involvement:
- Post a CITO event page at www.geocaching.com/seek.
- Post a note in Groundspeak's regional forums announcing your plans.
- Post a note in your local geocaching organization’s forums.
- Contact your local media outlets (news, print, web sites, community notices) to encourage more involvement and increase public awareness. Be sure to provide the media with the URL for your event and www.geocaching.com/cito.
- Ask local businesses to donate either supplies for the work, or prizes to encourage more participation.
- Place links to your event in all your cache pages. Don’t forget to remove the links once the CITO event is over!
- Mention the CITO event in your cache logs, and point people to the source of more information.
- Make CITO merchandise available at your event. There are trash bags and other items available at Shop Geocaching.
- Do you have any other tips?
- If you want to catch the attention of passers-by, both for the sake of safety and as advertising of your good deeds, encourage your crew to wear the same color shirts or vests.
For Event Attendees:
- How do I participate in CITO?
- CITO events are organized and planned by geocachers but can be attended by anyone willing to assist in a clean-up effort. CITO participants often include scouts, other outdoor groups (mountain bikers, hikers, etc.) or anyone who is looking to volunteer.
- It is helpful for the organizer to know who will be attending the CITO event. If you plan to attend, please communicate this to the event organizer in advance, if possible. In this way, the organizer can determine resources needed, communicate instructions, and better estimate what work can be accomplished by those who plan to attend.
- What do I need to bring?
- While event organizers will plan for (and communicate) event resource needs, it is always a good idea to be prepared. Please reference the list above for ideas and consider bringing water, gloves and a snack.
- How can I find and attend a CITO event?
- Visit the current Cache In Trash Out Event Calendar.