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Annual Ohio River cleanup begins Friday

A view of the Ohio River, looking west toward Downtown Cincinnati, from a helicopter.
Bill Rinehart
The Ohio River stretches 981 miles from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois, and provides drinking water for millions of people.

Warmer weather means a lot of things, including an annual riverbank cleanup. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission's River Sweep begins Friday along the Ohio River, from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Ill. ORSANCO provides supplies, including trash bags and gloves to volunteers picking up garbage along the riverbank.

In the last four years, more than 420,000 tons of trash and debris have been collected, including a phone booth, car parts, appliances, a wedding dress, and lots of tires. Last year, ORSANCO reported there were 121 clean-up events along the 981 miles of the river, with nearly 4,600 volunteers.

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"It's important for everyone in the Ohio River Basin to remember we are all a part of this watershed and by working together these types of clean up events have a major impact on the global issue of litter pollution," says Executive Director Richard Harrison.

The Ohio River is a source of drinking water for millions of people.

ORSANCO maintains a list of clean-up opportunities, and can help organize new ones. The effort continues until Oct. 31.

Volunteers can receive t-shirts designed by Cincinnati Art Academy students.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.