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More than 800 volunteers come out for 33rd River Sweep to clean up around Cuyahoga River

River Sweep
Posted at 12:19 PM, May 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-07 12:19:09-04

CLEVELAND — For the 33rd year in a row, more than 800 volunteers got together for another River Sweep cleaning in and around the Cuyahoga River.

“We have over 860 volunteers at 20 clean sites through four Cleveland neighborhoods, Garfield Heights and Cuyahoga Heights,” said Mera Cardenas, the executive director for Canalway Partners.

The sweep is put on by Canalway Partners once every year bringing out organizations from all over. One of the volunteers is Eddie Olshansky. He is the founder of Fish Trash, an organization that rents out free kayaks to anyone year-round as long as they pick up some trash while they are paddling. Days like today bring Eddie joy to see hundreds of people do the same thing.

“Days like this when we have so many people coming out here at once are super inspiring to me, like seeing the community come together,” said Olshansky.

But they don’t just clean the river, they also pick up trash from areas around it.

“Some people are along trails such as Mill Creek or Bochy Park. We have people along roadways on Quigley, West Third,” said Cardenas.

After cleaning for 33 years, Mera says that based on the amount of trash they find it shows what they're doing is working.

“Typically, we would find close to 1,000 tires in a year, but as the area has changed into more public spaces last year, we only found 100 tires. So, you can see the impact.

It’s clear there’s progress,” said Cardenas.

Though there’s still work to be done, she reminds everyone at home that you can also help keep the city clean.

“You can have an impact every day by picking up trash in your neighborhood when you when you are out for a walk," said Cardenas.

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