‘Renew Our Rivers’ returns next weekend, organizers take cause to the streets too

Published 10:42 pm Monday, September 24, 2012

The “Renew Our Rivers” campaign returns next weekend to help clean the Demopolis waterway of trash and debris.

The Demopolis Rotary Club also encourages people to take that same weekend (Friday, Oct. 5-Saturday, Oct. 6) as an opportunity to do some fall cleaning around home or work.

“Renew Our City” will be held in conjunction with the river clean-up. Mayor Mike Grayson signed a proclamation of the citywide event earlier this month.

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“We asking everyone in the community to beautify their residence and business as well as help those who maybe can’t do the work themselves,” Diane Brooker, Rotarian and Alabama Power engineer.

Brooker said the club, which has a motto of “Service Above Self,” wants to help foster community-minded neighborhoods.

Anyone needing to schedule a pick-up of bulk materials — not household garbage — can contact the Demopolis Public Works Department at 289-3879.

The river clean-up will take place on Friday and Saturday from the city landing.

Alabama Power, Cemex and Demopolis city employees and anyone else who wants to help will work most of the day Friday, breaking for lunch.

Most volunteers and school students help on Saturday from 7:30 to about noon. Lunch will be served for all who come out to assist with “Renew Our Rivers.” Alabama Power will have boats and barges to use, but other people with their own boats are welcomed and needed.

“We wish people would bring some (boats),” said Alabama Power’s Bob McCants.

Since 2005, more than 307,000 pounds of garbage have been removed from the water.

“That’s how much we have collected in just seven years,” McCants said.

Most of that “trash” can actually be reused — one year 57 percent of everything collected was able to be recycled.

The most garbage was removed in 2005, when 78,900 pounds were taken out of the river.