200 Volunteers at Annual Spring Trash Cleanup!
200 volunteers on Saturday, March 23 was the largest ever to help remove trash in our 10 year history! They were divided into six tracks to cover over a 1-mile stretch of the Wilderness Island shoreline near the confluence of Robeson Creek with the Haw River Arm.
Neighbors of Providence Church Rd. and Ryan Rd. off Hanks Chapel Rd. coordinated their own cleanup on the west side of the Haw River Arm across from our target area. They stacked about 100 bags and 20 tires along a stretch from just south of where Robeson Creek enters the Haw to the big cove to the north of the peninsula defining entry of Stinking Creek.
The volunteers ranged widely in age from middle schoolers to retirees. We experimented this year with asking some volunteers to turn their bags inside out to show the blue side to designate glass and plastic that would be taken away by Chatham County in a big recycle container. Separation of glass from plastic and discard of many unacceptable items that were too dirty or had residual liquids overwhelmed our volunteers. Most blue bags were destined unfortunately for the landfill instead. We need to rethink how to make it work.
The lake level was still too high to allow volunteers with boats to get close to trash piles in some sections. Other piles were more easily put into yard carts pushed to the gravel road on the NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s Game Land. With very short short notice, six volunteers stepped up to help us remove the residual piles on the following Friday morning . Andrew brought his very new, 21 ft center console boat to get dirty. Sarah drove all the way from Randolph County west of Siler City, outside the Jordan Lake watershed, Allie drove from Mebane and Mark from Holly Springs. Stephanie and John are new to our cleanups and live nearby the lake. Several of these volunteers had already spent last Saturday removing trash with us and came back to do yet more work.
Ranger Jon operated the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pontoon boat. We hauled away 140 bags of trash and 30 tires.
Counting trash hauled on Friday, our grand totals for the Annual Spring Trash Cleanup were 400 bags and 60 tires. We recycled 140 lb of glass and 280 lb of plastic bottles, though we had to abandoned the sorting of many more blue bags. It was community service well done by enthusiastic, hard working volunteers!