Stream Clean-Up Day Volunteers Pick-Up Trash Hidden From Public View In Fairbanks Waterways

The 13th annual Stream Clean-up Day event took place over the weekend at the Noyes Slough and Chena River.

Stream Clean-Up, hosted by the Fairbanks Storm Water Committee and the city is a day where volunteers spend several hours cleaning up trash on land or by boat. At least 30 volunteers helped out at the event this year. 3 to 4 volunteers were assigned to a canoe along with some safety equipment and trash bags. Afterwards, everyone brought back their trash to the lion's park pavilion.
Environmental manager Andrew Ackerman says this year's garbage pile turned out to be successful.

"We got you know a large pile of garbage close to you know usually we get a thousand pounds. Were close to that here. We had almost all the segments that we wanted to cover, taken care of and people were very enthusiastic. The weather turned out to be pretty nice for us."

Prior to the start of the event, Ackerman gave a brief safety meeting to all the volunteers. He talked about what hazardous materials need to be avoided and what kinds of trash to pick up.

Each volunteer was given a kit that included gloves, bug spray and other tools for their own safety. Following along with two volunteers in a canoe, we picked up trash on the Noyes Slough.

Volunteer Muffie Durst says the reason she signed up was to see what kinds of trash might be out there to pick up.

"I've always heard that there's a variety of items. So I was curious as to what we would find and I think that the biggest odd item that we found was a a lot of foam, insulation type foam in big chunks, little chunks. And then we found odds and ends of cans, water bottles, plastic bags, couple of toys."

The second volunteer alongside Durst was Sean Huntington. He was pleased to see a good fair amount of volunteers willing to help out.

"I think it's great. The community coming together. Realizing that they can just take a little bit out of their time and help out the environment cleaning up and hopefully were going to recycle a lot of this that has been collected today."

Huntington says what he and Durst found out on the Noyes Slough that made the trash collecting worth it in the end.

"I'm happy that we didn't tip. We collected a lot. We actually, we picked up a sled, a sled that's pulled behind snowmobiles that was abandoned on the side and we actually used it as a caboose behind our canoe because our canoe was full."

All the trash that was collected went to the Tanana Valley Watershed Association to be weighed and recorded for data before going to the landfill.