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Spokane River Cleanup totaled 8 tons

Mon., Oct. 26, 2009, 12:16 p.m.

7th annual event hauled in more trash than 2008

This year’s Spokane River Clean-up netted 2 more tons of garbage from the Spokane River compared to last year’s record haul of 6 tons.

More than 750 volunteers combined their efforts in late September to recover 16,447 pounds of garbage, of which 5,207 was able to recycled.

For the 2008 event, the grand total was 12,020 pounds, including 4,101 recyclable pounds.

This was the seventh-annual year for the clean-up and the first year where there were two different locations. Traditionally, the cleanup begins at the High Bridge area, but this year, volunteers could start there or further east, near Avista. Much of the volunteers walked along the banks, some of them biked, and some actually went onto the river on kayaks or rafts.

This year’s event also was recognized by World Rivers Day as the largest hands-on river cleanup around the world taking place that particular weekend. It also fell on National Public Lands Day and was one of the final events of Sustainable September Spokane.

Recycled items included scrap metal, glass and plastics.

Volunteers were also able to partake of a variety of food and other items, and compete in the annual “most interesting trash” competition. Categories included “best outfit,” “most characteristic of Spokane,” “most useful” and “most beautiful.”

Judges included Spokesman-Review columnist Doug Clark and local garbologist Gabriel Brown.

The Spokane River Clean-up is organized each year by Friends of the Falls with the support of hundreds of other volunteers and businesses. The 2010 event is planned for Sept. 25.

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