Tag Archives: litter

Hinkson Clean Sweep is this Saturday, October 11

Activities: Work with other volunteers from the City of Columbia to clean up area streams.
Date: Saturday, October 10, 2014
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Place: Various locations around Columbia

What to Expect: Basically the most rockin’ trash bash this side of the Missouri. Mike Heimos, the City of Columbia’s stormwater educator, has been running the show for at least ten years, but he goes so hard he doesn’t pause to count them. The first year he tried a city cleanup, 48 people showed up. Last year? 2,400.

They’re all marching under the banner of the Columbia Crawdads, a city-wide Stream Team that, Heimos says, “has such an amazing following. It just blows my mind.”

He’s not exaggerating. In addition to collecting more than a ton of trash each Clean Sweep, cleanup groups now hit Columbia streams 2-3 times each month. The Stormwater Education Facebook page has more than 1,300 fans, some of its YouTube videos have thousands of views, and its Instagram cranks out hundreds of photos of the faces and places the Heimos crew works to restore.

What to Do: Well, first and foremost, you have to register. Go do that now and come back to us. We’ll wait…

Ok, so you know where you’re going? You can start showing up there any time after 9:30 A.M. You’ll sign in your group, get your clean up supplies and receive instructions from the Stream Captains. Then you’ll pick up trash! You’ll make new friends! It’ll be great.

What to Bring:  Yourself and everyone in your group! All supplies will be provided for at your site – clean up bags, gloves, just about everything you will need. Just make sure you have your toes covered and you’re comfortable in the weather.

Where you can go from here: “The goal of the Clean Sweep is to let people know they can do cleanups in Columbia as a volunteer opportunity,” Heimos says. “What we’ve found is, we don’t need to do this anymore; Once volunteers come and do it, they realize they can continue throughout the year.” In the past two months, for instance, Heimos has arranged 16 cleanups, and he only had to meet with a quarter of them to get them started. The rest already knew the drill.

“In Columbia, the polluter is us,” Heimos says. “We’re a suburban/urban area, there’s no factory on the hill pumping out pollution. It’s us: motor oil, cigarette butts, pet waste, Shakespeare’s cups, Harpo’s cups, plastic spoons and straws.”

So now’s your chance to turn “people pollution” into “people solutions.” Go sweep the Hinkson clean, and let us know how it goes!

For more information: Peruse the “Clean Sweeper’s Rules.” or email volunteer@GoColumbiaMo.com.

25th-ST_Logo-Color-FinalThis is one of your last chances at Stream Team 25th Anniversary greatness. So enjoy the fall day, get those last stamps on your passport, and look forward to cool prizes!


Operation Clean Stream stats will blow your mind

Results from Operation Clean Stream 2014 are in, and the stats are truly stunning. Like, how could there even be 2,500 tires in the Meramec Watershed? Hadn’t Arnold Stream Team #211 gotten them already?

Nope, apparently the Mighty 211 left a few tires for the rest of us.
Nope, apparently the Mighty 211 left a few tires for the rest of us.

Seriously, when I wrote about this event back in August, I failed to reflect on those crazy numbers. I just thought, “looks like they have it under control.” No kidding. Here are the results:

-2,225 volunteers donated more than 7,000 hours of their time

– 9,000 lbs. of metal was removed making our waterways a safer place to float, swim, and fish

– 6 large construction dumpsters were filled to the brim with trash from our waterways

– 2,481 tires were removed from the watershed

In a newsletter recently published, the Open Space Council had these praises and thanks to the St. Louis community:

Even with temperatures of 100+ degrees, thousands of volunteers came out to lend their time and talent to restoring the Meramec Watershed.  The event has become a St. Louis tradition, with generations of families participating together to help the local environment.

Volunteers represented a variety of ages and backgrounds and represented corporate green teams, religious groups, boy and girl scouts, canoe and kayak organizations, and many more.

We cannot thank the community enough for their support of this project.  It could not be done without all of you!

Leave it to Stream Teamers to haul a pallete in their canoe. Ai yi yi.
Leave it to Stream Teamers to haul a pallete in their canoe. Ai yi yi.

Like these pictures? The online photo album has gobs more.

Great job, OCS! We’re proud to have cosponsored your 47th Annual Cleanup as part of the 25th Anniversary Celebration, and we’re already looking forward to next year!

Jacks Fork Cleanup Results

Members of the  Scenic Rivers Stream Team Association crew sure know how to draw a crowd!

Many dozens of participants at the 16th Annual Jacks Fork Cleanup.

By all measures, the 16th Annual Jacks Fork Cleanup was a major success. It was a great turnout, and look at all this trash they saved from the streams and banks:

  • 7 tires
  • 1 tractor tire
  • 11 large green mesh bags
  • 80 red mesh bags
  • 4 large trash bags
  • 2 grills
  • 1 Sleeping bag
  • Chimney Tiles
  • 8×8 post with eye bolt
  • Spray cans
  • Hitching post

And that’s only naming the highlights! 

Photos courtesy of Angel Kruzen and Ted Haviland.

Bay Creek’s looking a whole lot cleaner thanks to these good Stream Team citizens!
This lucky Stream Teamer won a canoe for coming out and cleaning Jacks Fork. Lucky duck!
This smiling Stream Teamer won a canoe for coming out and cleaning Jacks Fork. Lucky duck!

Plan out next year’s cleanup excursion early! Why not? You can read our event preview from June here.

Did you know that the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition helps Stream Teams dispose of tires for free? Click here for more information. It could save your team lots of dollars!
“Stash your trash.” But you already knew that.

Did you attend the Jacks Fork Cleanup, or one of its sister events, like the one on the Current? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

Vampire teeth, a vintage boat, and messages in a bottle: America’s cultural indicators?

Photos by Stream Teamer Bernie Arnold.

Did you know that New York City’s municipal landfill has an anthropologist-in-residence? She looks at what the people of the city throw away, the history of sanitation workers, and lots of other fascinating things. That got me thinking . . .  maybe a similar task could be taken for the spot where North America’s largest waterways meet. What could cleanup hauls at the Missouri-Mississippi Confluence tell us about litter habits in the eastern and western parts of our country?

Confluence photos by AJ Feicht

Missouri River Relief (Stream Team #1875) has a head start on this research. They’ve tallied trash from their confluence cleanups for about the past five years. April 26th’s Earth Day event at the confluence continued to surprise volunteers and crew alike with a wealth of trash and treasure.

Here are some details on MRR’s work out of Columbia Bottom Conservation Area on April 26. Mull over these cultural indicators, and if you know of any anthropologists looking for a project, tell them to give MSTWC a call!

Earth Day at the Confluence – Missouri River Relief Cleanup

Volunteers: 178
[click here for a cool time lapse video of volunteers loading up]

MRR Crew: 31

Boats: 5 (2 USACE, 3 MDC, 1 Hanson P.S., 4 MRR)

Rivermiles: 9 ( 8 miles of the Missouri, 1 mile of the Mississippi)

River Level: 10 ft (St. Charles gage) 14.8 ft. (on the Mississippi at St. Louis)

Tires: 30 (an estimated .5 tons)

Landfill: 2.8 tons

Scrap Metal: an estimated .7 tons

Total Tonnage: an estimated 4 tons

A 1957 Saber takes its final ride.

Trash Tally!

  • 201 bags of trash
  • 30 tires
  • 11 chunks o’ Styrofoam
  • 4 coolers
  • 11 5-gal. plastic buckets
  • 1 20-gal. plastic tub
  • 12 55-gal. plastic barrels
  • 2 55-gal. metal drums
  • 4 partial metal drums
  • 1 water heater
  • 1922354_772411032771240_36440279461574215_n
    Transformer and a boat. In a boat. Crazy!

    1 propane tank

  • 1 AC unit piece
  • 1 600 lb Automotive Transformer
  • 1 boxspring
  • 1 chair
  • 2 barge lines
  • 1 buoy
  • 1 car seat cushion
  • 4 gas tanks
  • 1 rim
  • 2 inner tubes
  • 1 – 1957 fiberglass Saber boat
  • 1 oil pan
  • 1 metal trash can
  • 1 pulley
  • 5 metal poles
  • 10 ft. of 2” angle iron
  • 5 ft. of corrugated metal
  • 1 – 6ft. metal pole
  • 8 pieces of metal cable
  • 10250061_772410629437947_7648908014810599039_n
    201 bags of trash saved from going downstream! You’re welcome, Mississippi River/Gulf Coast/Oceans of the World.

    2 metal locker doors

  • 1 tiny saw blade
  • 1 tv
  • 1 lateral drain tile
  • 2 orange booms
  • 1 chicken wire
  • 1 Rubbermaid tote
  • 1 Rubbermaid lid
  • 1 wall to a Porta-Potti
  • 2 PVC pipes
  • 1 white picket fence
  • 1 bookshelf
  • A gazillion million balls
  • 1 softball owned by Gary Babetz
  • 1 kiddie push cart
  • 1 rubber canteen
  • 2 milk crates
  • 1 fishing pole
  • 1 dog kennel top
  • 2 pieces of wood with nails
  • 1 big plastic bowl for Clifford

Trash Contest!!! (winners in bold)

  • 1 yellow piggy bank
  • 10264532_772405306105146_856748195839053260_n
    Snake, dead most likely because of this fishing line tangled around its body.

    1 dead snake dead from plastic netting wrapped around it

  • 1 dead gar
  • 1 studded football massage ball
  • 2 armless baby dolls
  • 1 pair of purple vampire teeth
  • 2 doll heads
  • 16 balls
  • 1 coconut
  • 1 water ski
  • 1 plastic checker
  • 1 plastic rabbit
  • 1 plastic duck on wheels
  • 1 easter egg
  • 3 duck decoys
  • 1 plastic penquin
  • 1 wooden flower & bird
  • 1 pink panther print on foam
  • 1 black flip flop
  • 1 men’s cologne box
  • Trash contest spectators.
    Trash contest spectators. Kind of an absurd event if you think about it too much, but fun nevertheless. Look how riveted they are to the high drama of cool trash!

    1 igloo cooler

  • 1 newspaper mailbox
  • 1 plastic shovel
  • 1 swim pad
  • 1 light bulb
  • 1 kids plastic table
  • 1 plastic cone
  • 1 window squeegee
  • 1 large nail
  • 1 hat
  • 1 bucket
  • 1 fishing lure
  • 1 toy fire truck
  • 1 cassette tape
  • 1 turtle shell
  • 1 construction helmet
  • Several old glass bottles
  • 1 9mm handgun
  • 1 message in a bottle with several letters inside
MRR director Jeff Barrow briefs volunteers before they set out. One of the many perks of volunteering for a River Relief event is a free boat ride on the river!

Agencies & Groups: Missouri River Relief Crew, Missouri Department of Conservation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hanson Professional Services, Cub Scout Pack 97, Cadette Girl Scout Troop #435, Baden Powell Service Association 66th Confluence Scout Group, Anderson Pest Control, BioMerieux, Alpha Phi Omega– Washington University, Ethical Navigators 33, Flying Carps, Bank of America, St. Louis University, Boeing, Arnold Stream Team 211, Stream Team 3454 Anglers of Missouri, Saving the World Before Noon, Miramiguoa Master Naturalist, Weber Group, Kabul Waterdogs – Stream Team 3419, Stream Team 4855, Pack 3097, Stream Team River Rovers #4473,

Team Names: Flying Carp, X-Stream Team, Pack 97, Navigators, A-Team, Super Flying Ninja Kittens, Asian Carp Avengers, Anderson, River Dogs, Otters, Mo Mud Hens, Timberwolves, The Bass Fisherman, 66th Confluence Team, Hardcore Team Tough Guy, The Collaborators, River Rebels, Team Smokinbarrel

Event Sponsors

Event Partners

WK Lewis Shoreline Cleanup on Table Rock Lake is the first weekend in April

photo from the Missouri Division of Tourism

Activities: Remove trash from the shores of Table Rock Lake
Date: All weekend, April 4-6
Time: Any time you want!
Place: Various locations around Table Rock Lake

What to expect: We’ll give you a t-shirt, camping vouchers, food, a passport stamp and a BIG sense of accomplishment. Since 2001, volunteers have removed more than 179 tons of trash and 2,800 tires from the shores of Table Rock Lake!

TRLWQ_logoThis is a self-driven cleanup, so the rest is up to you! Gather friends, neighbors, and family to form a team. If you like your usual cleanup spot, you can keep it. Otherwise, Table Rock Lake Water Quality, Inc. will help you find a new area to clean up. 

Pick up trash bags, gloves, water bottles, and snacks at the TRLWQ office at 2 Kissee Avenue in Kimberling City. Trash bags can also be picked up at the Dewey Short Visitor’s Center at the Table Rock Dam or at Central Crossing Marina in Shell Knob.

Upon completion of the cleanup, all participants can receive a free t-shirt and camping vouchers for the Table Rock campgrounds.

Please remember, no appliances or tires are allowed in the dumpsters; put these items alongside the dumpster to be picked up separately and recycled. Download a map of dumpsters here.

What to bring: Register your team online or download and print the team registration sheet

  • Get a count of your expected team members so you know how many gloves and trash bags to pick up from TRLWQ’s offices. 
  • Use the trash tracking sheet when you’re finished to list your team’s t-shirt sizes, keep track of the area you choose to work, and record what trash you collect.
  • It’s also recommended to wear close-toed shoes and bring a reusable water bottle.
  • If you have a boat to use for the cleanup, use caution when reaching out, and wear a life jacket.
  • Use the dumpster location map to know where to take the trash you’ve collected.


Pick up trash bags from the following locations (zoom out for more):

To get a passport stamp:
Teams need to either A) write in the event on their passport and submit an activity report with their passport by December 1, 2014 for credit or B) submit an activity report any time after the event and request a stamp/sticker, which Stream Team will mail out. For more on the Passport Program, click here.

For more information: Visit trlwq.org, email contact@trlwq.o​rg or call the office at (417) 739-4100 between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Monday throughThursday.


25th-ST_Logo-Color-FinalThe WK Lews Shoreline Cleanup on Table Rock Lake is part of “25 Days of Stream Team” and counts as a stamp on your Stream Team passportClick here for a flier on all 25th Anniversary events.

Arnold Stream Team 211 Winter Cleanup is March 1

Activities: Clean up the Meramec River floodplain and plant trees  at this 23rd annual event!
Date: Saturday, March 1, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Place: Arnold City Park

What to expect: Volunteers will meet in the parking lot of Arnold City Park. Arnold Stream Team coordinators will give groups their assignments, and they will go out to pick up trash in the Meramec River floodplain.

The cleanup will last about two hours, and there will be education displays for kids and adults.

In addition to a sense of accomplishment caring for one of Missouri’s most populated watersheds, you’ll learn about what makes streams healthy, and connect with neighbors both upstream and downstream!

What to bring: Just yourself! StreamTeam will provide bags, work gloves, trees, and equipment, as well as a light breakfast. Dress in layers, and wear shoes you don’t mind getting muddy. Afterwards, stay for lunch!

For more information:
Call Brian Waldrop, St. Louis area Stream Team coordinator, at (314) 606-0755, visit Arnold Stream Team 211’s Facebook page or RSVP on Facebook.


25th-ST_Logo-Color-FinalThe Arnold Stream Team 211 Winter Cleanup is part of “25 Days of Stream Team” and counts as a stamp on your stream team passport. Click here for a flier on all 25th Anniversary events.