Group of volunteers preparing to clean Missouri River; more than 920 tons of trash recovered since 2001

SIBLEY, Mo. — It`s one of the biggest Missouri River clean-up efforts of the year. On Saturday morning, more than 100 volunteers will help clean up the trash dumped in the river.

On Friday, group members with Missouri River Relief toured areas in Sibley as they prepare to tackle mounting trash and debris.

“It kind of makes me a little sad. I don`t think people realize the actual impact that it is having. Because, they are like, how much of a difference is one bottle going to make? But they just add up so quickly,” said Missouri River Relief volunteer Tiffany Pence.

Recent flooding is not only believed to have caused accumulation of an unusual amount of trash, but also caused an unexpected dilemma for clean-up crews.

“With the recent high waters and the way this ramp is positioned, it created a shelf, so we are having Jackson County Parks and Rec help us out clearing a boat ramp,” said operations manager for Missouri River Relief, Kevin Tosie.

As volunteers pre-scout trashed sites along Missouri River, like mile marker 333, they took notes.

Missouri River Relief estimates it’s removed more than 920 tons of trash since 2001.

While plastic and styrofoam are common findings, volunteers say they are often surprised at what they can find.

“We find everything from hot water heaters, hot tub, refrigerators, but the most common thing we find is plastic bottles,” said Tosie.

“I found a bicycle one time that was still in decent working condition. I actually still have it at home,” said Pence.

Saturday morning, Volunteers will begin arriving at the Osage Boat Ramp at 9 a.m.

If you want to get involved you can visit Riverrelief.org.

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