Volunteers are needed for Iowa's largest Earth Day volunteer event to continue these efforts!

Last year, we had more than 1700 registered volunteers at 70 project locations throughout the greater Des Moines metro. They removed over 83,000 pounds of trash, recyclables, tires, metal and brush, along with almost 17 pounds of cigarette butts, 24 bags of invasive garlic mustard and they recycled 3200 plastic grocery bags!

Earth Day Trash Bash 2019

Trash Bash Removed Cigarette Butts Earth Day Trash Bash, Iowa's largest Earth Day volunteer event, is a collaborative project between the Cities & citizens of Des Moines, West Des Moines, Clive, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Johnston, Urbandale, Polk County Conservation, Polk Soil and Water Conservation District, West Side Chamber of Commerce, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Ingersoll Business Committee, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Water Works. 

Thanks to corporate commitment to a better environment and a healthier community, in 2018, we had more than 1900 registered volunteers. Last year, we had around 75 project locations throughout the greater Des Moines metro with volunteers removing litter, beautifying public lands and cleaning out invasive species. They removed over 81,000 pounds of trash, recyclables, tires, metal and brush, along with almost 34 pounds of cigarette butts, planted 200 trees, and recycled 3,400 plastic grocery bags. For the first time, the kick-off Bash was a ZERO WASTE event! Which means 100% of the waste from the lunch was diverted from the landfill!

Trash Bash Removed TrashEarth Day Trash Bash, Iowa's largest volunteer Earth Day event, kicks off on Friday, April 19 with team volunteering from 12:00-5:00.  Saturday, April 20 there will be opportunities for individuals and families throughout the Metro.  Register for one event or both! 

 On Friday, April 19, 2019 (Rain Date April 22) Earth Day will kick-off with a Bash downtown at Noon, including lunch, sponsor recognition and educational booths. The rally builds a sense of community and cohesiveness to the day’s activities and is an opportunity to recognize the thousands of hours these volunteers will put in. After the kick-off bash and lunch, team captains will lead the volunteers out to their project locations for an afternoon giving back to the community.

Past Earth Day Trash Bash Photos

Schedule of Events

  • 12:00-1:00 Kick-Off Bash/Team Rally (Cowles Commons, 221 Walnut St.)
    Gather your team for food, music by Bruce Day and educational booths! 
  • 1:00-1:30 Commute to Assigned Site, Group Photo & Safety Talk
  • 1:30-4:30 Earth Day Volunteer Projects (Greater Des Moines Metro Area)
  • 4:30-5:00 Clean-up, Collect Tools/Supplies, Post-Project Photos & Award Submissions

Earth Day means Action!

Each year, as part of Earth Day we try to share some type of environmental education messaging.  Earth Day in the U.S. began in 1970 as 20 million Americans, from all walks of life, mobilized in an effort to change our environment.  Today, Earth Day is celebrated by more than a billion people per year in 192 countries.  Earth Day Trash Bash, a local event in honor of Earth Day, is Iowa's largest volunteer Earth Day effort.  The 2019 theme is "Think Downstream" and we encourage all citizens to think about their impacts on our waterways and those downstream from them.  Whether it is sediments, nutrients or plastics or other items in our water, we will work together to improve our water quality!  We ALL need clean water to survive!  For more information about ways you can improve your watershed, visit Des Moines' Water Works  http://www.dmww.com/water-quality/watershed/ .

Show Your Commitment

The Metro Area is divided into team volunteer project locations. The deadline for Captains to register is March 30th.  If you are unable to find a team for Friday's event, we encourage you to volunteer on Saturday, April 20 at one of our site locations.  

Thanks to our sponsors, each location will have the supplies onsite to complete your project. Captains will receive an Earth Day t-shirt, lunch wristbands for their teams, vital safety information and location information at the captain's meeting on Friday, April 5th. To thank you for your volunteer time you will receive a free lunch at our Kick-Off Bash at the Cowles Commons on April 19th.   

Commitment New

Captain Information

Captains lead the team, collect the waivers, attend the captain's meeting, and distribute the lunch wristbands and safety information. To thank you for your help coordinating your volunteer team you will get an Earth Day t-shirt.  PLEASE NOTE: Before you register, make sure your team is available for both Friday, April 19 and the rain date Monday, April 22.  If it's just a spring shower we will work, but if it's lightening or the weather makes the projects unsafe, they will be rescheduled to Monday to make sure they still get done!

Captains also encourage the team to participate in our fun awards.  Nominations can be submitted by emailing pictures to trashbash@dmgov.org or posting them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #trashbash2019, during or after the event.  Show us your Team Spirit ... wear a team t-shirt, costume or anything to show you've got SPIRIT! Earn the Bigg Buttowski for most cigarette butts collected (weighed in at Cowles Commons).  Snap a pic of Best Selfie or show us your unique find for the Finders Keepers awards.  Ye Olde Bag can be won collecting plastic grocery bags to bring to the kick-off for recycling.  The bags must be counted and bagged before you drop them off so they don't blow away on site. 

Captain Reminders

Register from March 8- March 30.  If your team is all adults you may use the group waiver. All volunteers must sign the waiver. If you have minors participating on your team, they must have a parent or legal guardian complete the minor waiver.  Scan and send as one group with (please put team name and captain name in subject line) to trashbash@dmgov.org

At the mandatory captain meeting you received a map of your assigned territory, wristbands for your team's free lunch, your t-shirt and review logistical information necessary for Earth Day. Don't forget if your assigned location is Downtown, stop by Cowles Commons on April 19 after 12:00 p.m. to pick up your team's supplies at our large Tool Trailer and return supplies by 5:00 p.m.  All other site locations outside of Downtown, will have your supplies ready on-site.

Wear your wristband to the volunteer kick-off lunch at Cowles Commons starting at Noon!  If you don't walk to lunch make sure to plan ahead and give yourself time to find street parking or use a city garage.  There will be some free give-aways including a reusable water bottle. 

Captain's Meeting: 
Friday, April 5, 2019, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Richard A. Clark Municipal Service Center
1551 E Martin Luther King Jr Parkway
Des Moines, Iowa 50317 

Trash Bash 2017

17 pounds of cigarette butts ...

... have been removed!


Wm Trash Bash2013

We could not help our community, the Earth or recognize these volunteer efforts (valued at over $144,000 in 2017) without the support of our sponsors.  The value of Earth Day volunteerism and sponsorship in 2018 was more than $215,000.  Help make Iowa's largest Earth Day event a success again!

While each year we try to reuse tools and supplies, as participation increases, we need your support and hope you will become a sponsor. Sponsorship is an opportunity to communicate to your employees that your company recognizes the importance of our environment and taking care of our community.  We have both Friday and Saturday Earth Day Trash Bash events that need your support. 

Sponsorship dollars help provide a volunteer kick-off Bash, volunteer recognition and continued volunteer support (such as dumpsters, portable restrooms, gloves, trash bags, project location signs and other tools/supplies) to beautify our community. Bronze, Silver and Gold donors receive verbal recognition at the kick-off event and during the captain's meeting. As a Diamond or Platinum sponsor, please review the sponsorship benefits. Thank you for considering this opportunity to make Earth Day Trash Bash 2019 a success.

Sponsorship Levels

Click on a level below to review the benefits of that Sponsorship level.

  • Diamond ($3,000+)
  • Platinum ($1,000-$2,999)
  • Gold ($500-$999)
  • Silver ($250-$499)
  • Bronze (up to $249)

Compare Platinum and Diamond Levels

Diamond  2018 Diamond Sponsors ($3,000 +)

  • Diamond Sponsors 2015 Cdm
  • Diamond Sponsors 2018 Lamar
  • Diamond Sponsors 2017 Vivians
  • Diamond Sponsors 2018 Wells Fargo

Platinum 2018 Platinum Sponsors ($1,000 - $2,999)

  • Arag
  • Platinum Sponsors 2018 Ankeny Sanitation
  • Des Moines Water Works
  • Ernst Young
  • Friends Of Des Moines Parks
  • Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
  • Meredith
  • Midamerican Energy
  • Platinum Sponsors 2014 Polk County Conservation
  • Platinum Sponsors 2018 Principal
  • Platinum Sponsors 2015 Voya

Special thanks to the following organizations who were on the Earth Day Trash Bash planning team:
Cities & citizens of Des Moines, West Des Moines, Clive, Pleasant Hill, Johnston, Urbandale, Norwalk, Polk County Conservation, Polk Soil and Water Conservation District, West Side Chamber of Commerce, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Ingersoll Business Committee, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Water Works.

Be a Sponsor

It is a opportunity to communicate that your company recognizes the importance of Earth Day ...

... and taking care of our community!