Trash becomes treasure at Living Lands and Waters 15th Annual Barge Party

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - It's almost 20 years of Chad Pregracke and his volunteers picking up the trash left along the rivers.

"Celebrating a cleaner river and really celebrating almost 100,000 volunteers that has come out and helped us clean up America`s rivers," said Chad Pregracke, Founder of Living Lands and Waters.

They've found discarded tires, scrap metal, even old propane tanks but amid the trash there are treasures.

"All of the great stuff they pulled out of the river and they`re auctioning off, it's pretty cool, if you think it`s all garbage and junk you`re wrong," said  Mike Wink.

At the 15th Annual Barge Party they auctioned off some of the river debris the clean-up crews have found.

"It`s a great crowd, great cause I mean what Chad started on his own, way back in the day, has grown to this, this is incredible," said Wink.

Living Lands and Waters has cleaned out 23 rivers in 20 different states, removing almost 9 million pounds of trash along the way and the group is ready to do even more.

"A brand new barge and a brand new John Deere excavator that`s custom made with a 50 foot grapnel," said Pregracke.

To help pay for it, Pregracke throws an annual party on the barge, complete with trash you can buy and one man's thanks for all the help he gets.

"It`s a great feeling to know this many people have come out to support it but it`s also like, of the 800 or 1,000 people how do I thank all these different people," said Pregracke.

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