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Sweeping the banks: Volunteers needed for Ohio River Sweep on June 15

In an effort to keep the banks of the Ohio River clean, the Lawrence County River Sweep will be held on June 15.

The Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District’s Litter and Recycling Program will sponsor four cleanup locations in Lawrence County, including the Ironton boat ramp, Coal Grove boat ramp, South Point boat ramp and the Symmes Creek boat ramp in Chesapeake.

Stephanie Helms, of the solid waste district and organizer of the event for the past 14 years, is looking for volunteers.

“It’s a good time, we see a lot of the same faces every year,” she said. “We have volunteers of all ages. We welcome scouting groups, church groups, individuals, school kids looking to get community service hours. We are always looking for new faces.”

“All the volunteers, we supply them with litter grabbers, bags, gloves,” Helms said. “And all the volunteers get a free T-shirt. And, of course, we are hoping for good weather.”

The event will begin at 9 a.m. and runs for an hour or more.

Volunteers are asked to wear old, comfortable clothing and shoes they won’t mind getting dirty. It is also advised to wear gloves to protect your hands at all times, which will be provided, and to avoid areas with an overgrowth of weeds/vegetation.

Safety tips for participating in the river sweep include watching where you walk and avoiding broken glass, needles, rusty nails and poison ivy. In addition, volunteers are asked not to put themselves into dangerous positions, such as trying to collect trash that is floating in the river.

The Ohio River Sweep is now in its 29th year. Last year, volunteers in 66 counties in six states collected 320 tons of trash and debris from along 3,000 miles of shoreline stretching from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois.

For more information or to register your group, contact Helms at the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District office, 101 N. Third St., Ironton, or call 740-532-1231 during business hours, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.