However, the volunteers alone are not the only ones who make this possible.
We also have a very committed group of sponsors who have supported our efforts since the event’s inception in 2011. Sponsors include; Premier Mushrooms, Central Valley Gas Storage, Colusa Landing, River Partners, Recology, Ink’d Up Industries and Caffeinated. In fact, many of these sponsors even have employees who put on their gloves and join us out on the river. Without their support, our event would only be a shell of what it’s been for all these years. And we look forward to their continued support in the many years to come.
The most frequently collected item was cigarette butts, of which 325 were collected! We also collected 167 food wrappers, 79 bottle caps, 3 tires, 1 game-boy, and 14 shotgun shells. Two items we’d never seen before were a glow in the dark necklace and a throw-rug.
We had a total of 40+ volunteers in Colusa and were joined by another 60,000+ volunteers across the state of California. We also made one startling new finding that differed from years past - which was that we collected a mere 115 pounds of trash. This is less than 1/10th of what we removed in 2016 and significantly less than was found in 2014 and 2015. However, the same amount of distance was covered as in years past - which means this reduction was not resulting from a lack of effort.
We believe one reason for this stark difference is due to the fact that all of the “legacy trash” has been removed. Legacy trash is simply trash that has been sitting and/or buried along the river for 5, 10 or even 20 years. Once legacy trash is removed, the only trash we’re likely to find is material that has been dumped since the previous year. In addition to this reduction in legacy trash, we’ve also noticed that even new trash (dumped since Sept. 2016) has been greatly reduced. This serves as a very clear indicator that less littering is taking place on the river and newer practices are being adopted.
Paired together, these two factors made 2017 one of our most successful clean-ups to date. Perhaps this is due to behavior change surrounding the disposal of trash or perhaps it was due to a reduction foot-traffic along the waterways. Either way, it’s great news!
We’d like to thank all of our volunteers and sponsors one more time! This event does not happen without your support.
See you again in 2018!