That is how much trash 12,490 volunteers have collected from waterways in the Quad Cities over the last 10 years, equalling 35,260 hours.
This Saturday, August 10th, 2013 is the 10th Annual X-Stream Clean-Up. With the help of Living Lands and Waters, the Mighty - though messy - Mississippi River is cleaner not just in the Quad Cities, but up and down the river's path.
On Thursday, August 8th, 2013, the non-for-profit organization held its annual Barge Party at Schwiebert Riverfront Park in Rock Island. The event thanks all of LLW's supporters and kicks off a weekend focused on cleaning up the river and filling up the organization's barge.
News 8 took a tour of the barge with Crew Member and Education Facilitator, Mike Coyne-Logan, who is originally from Rock Island. On one end of the barge, mountains of trash show the group's dedication to picking up any and every forbidden item clogging up our country's waterways.
"If anything, it just creates awareness that our rivers are important, but they need our help," said Mike. "They're not perfect."
However, collecting trash is only part of their goal.
"It's one thing to keep taking stuff out of the river, but you got to teach people why it's important," explains Mike.
That's where the group's "floating classroom" comes into play. The classroom shows rather than tells LLW's mission... giving students and teachers a hands-on educational experience. Even the room itself is a teaching tool. From the electricity to the materials used to build the floor and ceiling... everything is sustainable.
It's that "talk the talk, walk the walk" way that helps X-Stream Clean-Up be so successful. Over the last decade and out of that 886,960 pounds, volunteers have collected 18,429 tires, 17,903 bags of garbage, 315 pieces of furniture, 246 bicycles, 218 appliances, and so much more.
"In the end, it's really worth it," said Mike. "You meet a lot of good people. You see a lot of cool places and you're doing a positive thing."
To learn more about X-Stream Clean-Up, click here.
To learn more about Living Lands and Waters, click here.