It’s not only ducks and boats that float along the Rhine River in the summer. The waters also push wayward garbage to the river’s edges, leaving the neighboring grounds in an unsightly condition. Car tires, wine bottles, chip bags, candy wrappers, and even old backpacks—it all flows downstream and gets stranded, unable to continue its journey. In Vallendar, home of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management situated just across the Rhine from the larger city of Koblenz, two student clubs, WHUSH (WHU Students Help) and SensAbility, have taken on the challenge posed by RhineCleanUp to help stem the tide, as it were.
For the forty-some participating students, WHU’s own Rhine Cleanup Day, which fell on September 9 this year, started with a hearty breakfast. They then donned thick rubber gloves and armed themselves with trash bags and litter pickers provided by RhineCleanUp. Before long, they headed for the bridge that connects Vallendar to the Niederwerth island and got to work under a raging late-summer sun. For Till Brenner and Tom Eifler (both BSc, 2025), the general managers of SensAbility and WHUSH, respectively, a commitment to social good and an environmentally friendly perspective are paramount. “I’m so proud that we were able to pull off another successful Rhine Cleanup Day and make part of our community a little cleaner. And with such a large and motivated team!” said Brenner.
This joint initiative, they noted, is a great way to give back while also allowing the school’s upper- and lowerclassmen, some of whom have only been on campus a week, to connect. And Brenner, who grew up not too far from Vallendar, is living proof of the strength of those connections: He joined the RhineCleanUp initiative during his first year at WHU and is now, alongside Eifler, partially responsible for continuing the tradition. “That rhythm is what makes WHU so great,” he said. “One cohort assumes leadership of an initiative and then actively gets the next cohort involved.”