Allegheny CleanWays removes 11,300 pounds of trash from Allegheny River

Thursday, July 25, 2019 | 4:10 PM


Volunteers collected 11,300 pounds of trash from the Allegheny River and its shorelines during 16 cleanups held in June from Millvale to Freeport, according to the nonprofit Allegheny CleanWays.

“We’re so pleased with it,” Hannah Samuels, volunteer and outreach coordinator with Allegheny CleanWays, said. “It was so high quality.”

The most rubbish was collected in the Sharpsburg area, including 1,750 pounds of trash and an additional 2,000 pounds of carpet, according to the nonprofit.

Samuels said the group mostly collected plastic bottles, barrels and tires, much of which was able to be recycled or reused. One of the biggest challenges was dealing with high river levels because of the rain the region has received over the past month.

Samuels said this is the first year the nonprofit has done a series of cleanups like this in a row. Typically, it holds one public cleanup a month and a couple of private cleanups. This year’s cleanups drew a combined 133 volunteers — including children — from the 11 participating communities.

“Every, single community was so different, and that was something else that was so fun,” she said. “It was a really cool, collaborative thing — 133 volunteers is amazing.”

The least amount of trash — about 200 pounds — was collected in the Oakmont region, the nonprofit said.

The nonprofit has been fighting illegal dumping in Allegheny County and doing cleanups since 2000. It has collected 5 million pounds of trash in that time.