September 16, 2021

35 tons of trash removed from Chattahoochee river, nearby creeks and parks

(Atlanta, GA) — Volunteers picked up more than 35 tons of litter pollution from local waterways as part of ‘Sweep the Hooch,’ a free day of service led by nonprofit Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK), who has worked to protect and preserve the Chattahoochee River since 1994.

‘Sweep the Hooch’ is an annual watershed-wide trash cleanup that brings together hundreds of volunteers each year at dozens of locations along the Chattahoochee River.

This year’s massive total of trash collected can be attributed to the more than 1,200 volunteers who gave their time at 54 different creeks, parks, and greenspaces this past Saturday, March 27, 2021.

Of the 35 tons they gathered, approximately 2.76 tons of litter were able to be recycled.

“We weren’t sure what this year’s Sweep the Hooch would look like, or even if people would come out,” said Tammy Bates, Outings Manager with CRK, who coordinates the cleanup, “but the success of this movement for a trash-free river shows just how much people care about our environment, our planet, our water.”

CRK works with several local partners to support this cleanup, including the National Park Service and The Center for Hard to Recycle Materials.

Sweep the Hooch also requires volunteers to lead each cleanup site and guide other volunteers safely through the cleanup process.

“It’s hard to communicate just how important this work is,” said Bates. “Trash that’s littered anywhere in the watershed can eventually end up in the river, which, in addition to serving as a source of clean drinking water for millions, is also just a beautiful natural wonder. It’s not just our job to take care of it, it’s everyone’s.”

Last year, more than 1,000 dedicated community volunteers gathered a record-setting 36.8 tons of trash and tires from and along the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries in just one day.

For more information on how to register for upcoming cleanups or how to support CRK’s mission, visit

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s mission is to educate, advocate, and secure the protection and stewardship of the Chattahoochee River, including its lakes, tributaries, and watershed, in order to restore and conserve their ecological health for the people and wildlife that depend on it.

Established in 1994, the nonprofit organization is the 11th licensed program of more than 350 within the international Waterkeeper Alliance.

Since its inception, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper has now grown to include more than 10,000 passionate members.

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper employs a variety of strategies to protect and preserve the Chattahoochee River, its lakes, and watershed, including water monitoring and testing, education, research, trash cleanups, legal action, and advocacy.

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