Hundreds come out to clean-up River Des Peres

ST. LOUIS - Hundreds of people came together Saturday with a common goal of cleaning up trash from the River Des Peres watershed.

It was all part of the 15th annual River Des Peres Trash Bash.

375 people went to 14 sites to clean up trash along the River Des Peres watershed.

Among them, an area along the Mississippi River in south county.

Volunteers found all kinds of trash there including tires, wood pallets, scrap metal and a lot of plastic.

Natalie Mann was among the volunteers at that location.

She is a SLU student majoring in environmental science.

'Our environment is very important, it`s the only home we have, we all share it, therefore we`re all on the same team,' said Natalie.

Several middle school girls came as part of their girl scout troop.

'It`s St. Louis. We want to make this like so much nicer for everyone to enjoy because I love going out to the river and seeing the sights and instead of a lot of trash,' said Libby Meister, a member of Girl Scout Troop 2521 from Truman Middle School in the Lindbergh district.

Doug Geist was the team leader for the group along the Mississippi River.

Holding a bag full of trash, he told us, 'I grew up with the leave it cleaner than you found it so that`s how I got into this. So this just breaks my heart when I see all of this coming down here because other kids, other people don`t get to enjoy a nice, clean river.'

Event organizers tell us trash is a major problem along the River Des Peres watershed.

That`s why they say this annual clean-up is critical.

'It is upsetting to see all of the trash that people throw out. You know, you can drive through an intersection, off an off ramp, up one of our interstates locally here, you know, people just throw out their trash, and again when it rains it`s going to get that trash to our environment,' said Roland Biehl, the coordinator of the event.

The trash pick-up went from 9am until noon, people sacrificing a small part of their Saturday to make what they tell us is a big difference for the environment.

It`s a huge impact, absolutely huge,' said Geist.

The volunteers cleaned some 30 square miles in today`s event.

Organizers believe some nine tons of trash was likely picked up.