A beer pong table, Xbox gaming system, tractor tires and a $20 bill were among the unusual finds in the thousands of pounds of trash and recyclables plucked from San Luis Obispo County waterways last month during the 21st annual Creek Day Cleanup.
The countywide effort held Sept. 15 attracted 695 volunteers “who trudged through the Salinas River and numerous creeks to haul an impressive 15,845 pounds of garbage and 3,755 pounds of recyclables from our local waterways,” according to a news release from the Creek Day Planning Committee.
Volunteers came from throughout the county to spend three hours in numerous locations spanning from the Salinas River in the North County to the Santa Maria River near Nipomo.
Paso Robles had the largest turnout of volunteers at 205 while Nipomo had the lowest at 41, organizers said. Helpers included everyone from local residents to members of Boy and Girl Scout troops to community service organizations and Cal Poly’s Week of Welcome students.
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They banded together to haul away mattresses, couches, shopping carts, tires and bikes along with other paper trash and bottles.
"It was great getting the WOWies, young children and families involved to get them invested in the culture of creek and resource protection we are fostering," San Luis Obispo city biologist Freddy Otte said in a statement.
The next Creek Day Cleanup is slated for Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.
Creek Day is a collaborative effort led by the county and local governmental agencies, utilities and community groups. The goal is to clear trash from local watersheds so it doesn't hurt plants or wildlife or end up in the ocean. Organizers also say it’s a way to celebrate community pride.