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Earth Day 2022: Litter in the Grove

Updated: Jul 9, 2022

Nine volunteers gathered in front of Simply Storage at the corner of Highway 99 and N. River Rd. on the sunny, blue skied morning of Earth Day 2022 for an EcoGeneration-led litter pick-up lasting three hours.

The group split into three teams. One picked-up litter on both sides of Highway 99 south of N. River Rd to N. Lane St. Another focused on N. River Rd. along both the road and the Coast Fork Willamette River to just before Hidden Valley Golf Course. The third traveled between the two, replenishing supplies, while also picking up litter on both sides of the highway past Horner’s Hardware Store.

Among the litter picked up was a broken fold-up camp chair, a bag of human excrement, plastic automobile parts, and a large rusted-out bucket—the latter of which came complete with bullet holes—in the ditch alongside the highway. The automobile parts included large plastic manifold pieces, hosing, broken tail light light pieces (more than 150 pieces), and even the metal framing for a very old automotive windshield.

In total, the nine volunteers collected approximately 130lbs of litter with an additional half a gallon of cigarette butts. The top three items collected were cigarette butts, plastic film, and small bits and pieces of hard plastic, most notably tail light pieces.

While picking up litter, EcoGeneration also provided Oregon Wildflower and California Poppy Seed Balls for all volunteers to spread throughout their time picking up litter. More than 500 seed balls were spread in the 2 miles of roadside and trailside that volunteers picked up.

All of the litter, aside from the cigarette butts and beverage containers, was taken to the Cottage Grove Transfer Station, operated by Lane County Waste Management, directly after the pick-up event. While at the Transfer Station, scrap metal was separated and recycled with other scrap metal, with some of the scrap metal items being rusty nails.

We’d like to give a shout-out of appreciation to—our incoming board president—Ruth Bichsel for helping organize and maintain our checkpoint for the morning. We couldn’t have completed this litter pickup without Ruth or our Sponsors, thank you Medication Station, Cottage Grove UPS Store, Arbonne Independent Consultant Emily Quindry, and the CG area Chamber of Commerce.

Photos courtesy of James Croxton// Double Sided Media

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