RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) – Hundreds of volunteers were out scaling the American River on cleanup patrol.

The annual Great American River Cleanup in Rancho Cordova had thousands of volunteers on land and water Saturday.

“It’s mostly people dropping their stuff and not bothering to pick it up,” said a volunteer.

For 18 years in a row, the Great American River Cleanup covered a 23-mile span along the river in efforts to beautify the parkway.

“We have roughly 2,500 volunteers today,” said Stacy Springer, a volunteer manager.

Every third Saturday in September, volunteers fill up their trash bags, but the effort is more than land debris pick up.

“We’ve got 60 divers that launched here at Sunrise,” said Springer.

One hundred kayakers chipped in on the cleanup as well.

Springer says getting the kids involved sends an important message.

“We want that message set in early with the kids, and when they come out here and have a good time collecting trash, and we make it fun for them, it’s something they’re more likely to do in their futures,” said Springer.

Aside from trash, another thing picked up was foam.

Again this year, Dart Container Corporation from Lodi was out with 25 employees to collect and recycle foam; it’s a product that most think can’t be reused.

“It’s also a good way for us to educate the public about foam,” said Michael Westerfield, a Dart representative.

There’s no final count on the amount of debris picked up, but last year the cleanup team picked up over 15,000 pounds of trash.


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