More than 300 volunteers set out to scour 16 sites along the River Des Peres watershed from North County to Crestwood, Saturday morning. They could hardly believe the things they found. One group pulled a water soaked king size mattress from the muck along Gravois creek. The tonnage has piled up through the years: 6.5 tons of trash, 1.5 tons of scrap metal and more than 110 tires. It either came straight out of the rivers and streams or was swamped nearby.
The garbage can flow from the River Des Peres, down the Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico. Volunteers were after prizes for the most expensive, largest, and weirdest finds.
"For example, last year somebody found a samurai sword in the stream. So they definitely got a prize," said Steve Nagle, Director of the River Des Peres Watershed Coalition. "You get pollution runoff from parking lots and streets. You get debris and litter coming out of fast food restaurants, parking lots, backyards dumpsters, and people who just throw stuff into the stream."
Organizers want everyone to keep this in mind: even if you're miles from the River Des Peres, if you don't get your trash into a trash can, it could very well end up in the water.