A three-mile stretch of the Big Coal River is targeted for a major clean-up effort Saturday, when at least 70 volunteers will use boats, winches, trucks and muscles to remove discarded tires from the stream between Ashford and Dartmont in Boone County.
“This is work that no one in their right mind would want to do, but we will have more than 70 dedicated volunteers working in the river on Saturday,” said Teresa Perdue, a member of the Big Coal River Branch of the Coal River Watershed Association. “We want our river to be free of trash and tires and we are getting the job done.”
More than 600 tires and numerous tons of trash have been removed from the Big Coal during previous clean-up events.
“Back when we started 10 years ago, we could work all day just picking up plastic bottles and other forms of trash,” Perdue said. “Today, because people are not dumping large amounts of trash, we can concentrate on tires.”
During this year’s clean-up event, volunteers will walk in the river to locate and remove tires, then place the tires in a fleet of canoes provided by the Coal River Group and West Virginia American Water Co. “The tires in the boats will then be moved to collection points along the river where personnel from the West Virginia REAP program and the Boone County Commission will winch them up and load the tires into waiting trucks,” Perdue said. “It’s a process, but we think it’s worth the effort.”
More volunteers are welcome to join the clean-up effort, which starts at 9 a.m. at Ashford Church.