River Sweep volunteers needed

A recent tour of the Ohio River shoreline revealed plastic bottles and other trash mixed in with driftwood.

On tap Saturday: Mud, interesting finds, satisfaction 

COVINGTON, Ky. - Dozens of volunteers are needed Saturday to clean trash from the Covington banks of the Ohio River.
Expect muddy shoes and sore muscles - and interesting surprises.
"I've been working River Sweep for years, and it's always fascinating to see what we find," said Sheila Fields, the City's Solid Waste & Recycling Department Coordinator.
Besides the typical assortment of plastic bottles and Styrofoam, volunteers through the years reported unusual discoveries ranging from old baby dolls to a snub-nosed revolver, a basketball rim, a car seat, a Big Wheel, and a weight attached to a chain.
"And last year we dug a whole shopping cart out of the mud, one that was locked into place by a root 4 inches in diameter growing through it," Fields said.
Volunteers can also expect to enjoy the camaraderie that develops when people come together to tackle a large and worthwhile mission.
"River Sweep is more than picking up trash on the riverfront - this event is a social and cultural phenomenon that shows that our community cares about the people and animals living here," said Christin Badinghaus, an environmental science student from Northern Kentucky University who is working for the City this summer.
"It's a great opportunity because it allows you to get outside, meet new people, and beautify the community at the same time," Badinghaus said. "Trash doesn't just go away on its own. We have to do something about it."
At last year's event, about 70 people working in Covington carried away spare tires, half a wood pallet, a cloth folding chair, about 90 bags of garbage and debris, and 15 large bags of plastic bottles to be recycled.
They were part of a national army of volunteers working 3,000 miles of shoreline of the Ohio River and many of its tributaries under the coordination of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission and its many local partners.
The event here is hosted by the City of Covington and its partner, the non-profit Keep Covington Beautiful, with help from Rumpke Waste & Recycling.
About the event
  • Saturday's cleanup runs from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Volunteers should meet at Covington Landing at the foot of Madison Avenue, with parking available underneath the Roebling Suspension Bridge. They will be divided into groups that will be sent both upriver and downriver on the Ohio River shoreline.
  • Wear shoes (boots if possible) and clothes that can get dirty. Tools and clean-up materials will be provided. Volunteers receive a T-shirt and a light breakfast and lunch, which is why advance registration is requested HERE. Or, you can register beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the event.
  • In the event of heavy rain, watch the City's Facebook page HERE for possible rescheduling notices.
  • Questions? Contact Christin Badinghaus at or (859) 292-4414.
National numbers
According to, the 2018 event included:
  • Six states.
  • 151 cleanup sites.
  • 20,000 trash bags.
  • 3,000 miles of shoreline.
  • 66 counties.
  • 320 tons of trash.
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