River Sweep nets 2,360 lbs. of trash

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

The collection was an odd assortment: a mattress, a microwave, an old chair.

“Someone’s been living down there,” Stephanie Helms said as she looked over the list of discarded items collected Saturday from the Indian Guyan Boat Ramp.

The boat ramp was one of three Lawrence County sites targeted Saturday during the annual Ohio River Sweep.

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From odd to everyday 69 volunteers fanned out at the Indian Guyan, Center Street landing and South Point boat landings and hauled in 118 bags of trash amounting to 2,360 pounds.

“It went well,” said Helms, who is community service coordinator for the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste District.

“We had a huge turnout. I think the weather could have had something to do with it. The weather was not as good last year. It was a little hot Saturday, but it was manageable,” she said.

Helms said she thought one of the reasons why the turnout was so large was that in addition to individuals who helped, several organization brought their members.

Among the organizations involved were: Lawrence County Municipal Court community service and litter control programs, Duke Energy, Dennis J. Boll Group and Shelter Home, Sheridan Freewill Baptist Church and the Ironton Moose Family Center Teen Club.

Some who were not there in person opted to take part in spirit.

BFI of Huntington, W.Va., donated dumpsters and trash disposal at all three sites. Wal-Mart of Ashland, Ky., Sam’s Club of South Point and The Kroger Co. of Proctorville made monetary donations.

Also, Seven-Up Bottling Co. of South Point, Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. of Franklin Furnace, the Food Fair stories in both South Point and Proctorville, Peparoni’s, The Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Medical Center, The Dollar Tree of Ironton and Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) all provided assistance as well, either in the form of food for volunteers, trash bags or the like.

Helms said the work at the Indian Guyan boat ramp pointed to a greater need that can’t be addressed in one day.

“We are desperately seeking someone to donate equipment or services to get the boat ramp in working condition so people can put boats in the water there,” Helms said.

“There is so much dried mud and weeds 5 feet tall that have collected on the ramp. People are fishing there, but you couldn’t put a boat in it. This is not just a day’s work, though. And then we’re hoping to get someone who wants to keep it up,” she said.

Any group or business interested in helping revamp the boat ramp, may call the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste District at 532-3534.

The River Sweep, nearly two decades old, was organized by ORSANCO as a way to clean debris and litter off the riverbanks, particularly in time for summer recreation.