River sweep this weekend

By Wayne Allen

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On Saturday, volunteers from several states join together for the annual Ohio River Sweep. The event is coordinated locally through the Scioto County Commissioners office and is aimed at ridding the river bank of trash.

According to the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), “Since 1989, this cleanup for the Ohio River and its tributaries brings thousands of volunteers to the riverbanks to collect tons of trash and debris. River Sweep encompasses the entire length of the river, from its origin in Pittsburgh, PA to its end in Cairo, IL, including nearly 3,000 miles of shoreline and many tributaries.”

Jeff Crippen, Scioto County Litter Control Agent said, “We’re going to have it if it rains or if there is shine.” Crippen said there are two sites locally where the cleanup will occur, Court Street Landing in Portsmouth and River Side Park in West Portsmouth. Sites will be open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

In 2014 the event collectively had 17,000 volunteers in six states bordering the river come together to collect more than 500 tons of trash and other debris from the banks of the Ohio River and tributaries.

Crippen said locally in 2014 there were 97 volunteers that collected close to 4,000 pounds of litter. He said those interested in volunteering can show up at either of the sites. Volunteers must sign a waiver of liability, any volunteers under 18 will have to have a guardian sign the waiver of liability.

Crippen said this annual event is import to clean up the community.

The Portsmouth Citywide Cleanup was held on Saturday, June 6, in Portsmouth. The event was held in conjunction with the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District, Portsmouth Municipal Court and a number of community partners. Over the course of the event over 92 tons of items were collected, 1,940 tires and 131 workers.

Officials with the event expressed excitement over the amount of items collected that may have otherwise been thrown on the street.

For more information about the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District and ongoing activities visit www.lsswmd.org.

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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