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Big Sweep Takes Out The Trash

More than 500 volunteers picked up eight tons of trash during the 2007 "Big Sweep" in Mecklenburg County.


October 8, 2007

Something’s missing from Charlotte-Mecklenburg creeks and lake shorelines today: about 16,000 pounds of trash. More than 500 volunteers took part in Saturday’s "Big Sweep" in Mecklenburg County. The annual event, coordinated by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, is part of a statewide cleanup of waterways.

Something’s missing from Charlotte-Mecklenburg creeks and lake shorelines today: about 16,000 pounds of trash. More than 500 volunteers took part in Saturday’s "Big Sweep" in Mecklenburg County. The annual event, coordinated by Charlotte-Mecklenburg , is part of a statewide cleanup of waterways.

Volunteers were invited to gather Saturday at one of eight Big Sweep sites around Mecklenburg County or clean up a creek or lake shoreline near their home and report their individual results on line.

Based on data compiled so far, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Big Sweepers collected eight tons of trash in more than 600 large bags. The most commonly-found items were bottles and cans. Among the more unusual finds were:

- Three refrigerators
- An engine block
- A TV
- Two handguns, recovered by adults and turned over to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
- The back seat from a new car
- A Christmas tree.

The number of pounds of trash collected was up more than 40 percent from 2006. Water Quality Educator Erin Oliverio believes that’s due, in part, to the drought. "With creek and lake levels so low, more trash was visible. We could see bottles, cans, fishing line and other trash that might have been hidden in the past."

Besides being ugly, litter in creeks, streams and lakes can harm aquatic life. In addition to the annual "Big Sweep," volunteers are also invited to take part in Adopt-A-Stream. This program is also coordinated by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services. Civic groups, businesses, youth groups or others can sign up to "adopt" a section of stream and clean up trash there at least twice a year.

Learn more: http://stormwater.charmeck.org  or call 704-336-5500.




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