DES MOINES RIVER - More than 300 volunteers with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources helped clean up the lower Des Moines River of 40 tons of trash.
Throughout the month of July, volunteers participated in the 14th annual Project AWARE, cleaning up the Des Moines River through four counties: Wapello, Davis, Van Buren, and Lee.
"We were so surprised and impressed at the large number of volunteers who helped all week cleaning the trash from our river,” said Stacey Reese, Executive Director of Villages of Van Buren. “There were even a few locals who helped out. I think the magnitude of this event helped make a lot of people more aware of how important it is to be good stewards of our waterways. So now, it's up to us to keep it clean."
Items removed included a motorcycle, boat, Dumpster, several bathtubs, a car frame, bridge pylons and much more. Volunteers also removed 329 tires. This year, 77 percent of the trash pulled from the river was able to be recycled.
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