Volunteers clear three tons of trash

Published 9:40 pm Monday, June 8, 2009

Though assigned to three different sites throughout the city, Suffolk volunteers had one common goal on Saturday — a cleaner Chesapeake Bay. One hundred and thirty volunteers pitched in to clean up Suffolk on for the 21st annual Clean the Bay Day.

The groups of dedicated citizens cleaned up 6,554 pounds of trash along Suffolk’s streets and waterways during the three-hour blitz. Groups cleaned up Bennett’s Creek and Sleepy Hole Parks and Tidewater Community College’s Portsmouth campus.

Along the way, they picked up 2,005 cigarette butts; 2,785 plastic bottles, straws, and cups; 1,171 aluminum and metal containers; and 911 pieces of paper. Styrofoam, fishing debris, tires and glass were also commonly found.

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Some unusual items found included a home radiator, part of a car bumper, a bed frame and a pickup truck liner.

In addition to family and individual volunteers, several groups rallied together for the cause. Among the groups participating were members of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s Federal Managers Association and the Federal Women’s Program, youth groups from West End Baptist and Holland Baptist Churches, a group from Kings Fork Middle School, Suffolk Master Gardeners and Cub Scout Pack 73.

“Each volunteer deserves a pat on the back for making the decision to be good stewards of the environment and to Suffolk,” said Hattie Lester, litter control coordinator for the city. “If uncontrolled, litter will eventually wash into our waterways and harm our precious animals. We all should take action and keep Suffolk beautiful.”