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Group removes 3,000 pounds of litter from river

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    NASHVILLE (WSMV) — Tennessee Riverkeeper removed more than 3,000 pounds of metal, tires and other aquatic litter from the Cumberland River on Sunday, according to a news release.

Pontoon Saloon, an event space offering cruises on the Cumberland River, co-organized the cleanup with Riverkeeper.

“These events show that a few people can make a difference, and cleanups provide some hope for hundreds of thousands of citizens who are concerned about our blessed river and its tributaries,” said David Whiteside, Founder of Tennessee Riverkeeper, in a news release. “Clean water is a nonpartisan issue; we are all in this together.”

“Pontoon Saloon is very fortunate to use the Cumberland River recreationally, so it’s important for us to work with organizations that support a mission to keep our waterway clean,” said Captain Andrew Ostrowski of Pontoon Saloon in a news release. “We value the education and protection Tennessee Riverkeeper provides to our rivers and community.”

The heaviest litter and bulk of the weight was comprised of large metal objects, which Tennessee Riverkeeper plans to recycle, along with 10 tires.

“Tires are bad for water quality because they can contain benzene, arsenic, mercury, styrene-butadiene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, as well as several other chemicals, heavy metals and carcinogens,” said Whiteside.

A lot of the smaller litter found was made from some form of plastic, the most common being Styrofoam, plastic bottles, shopping bags and straws.

The Cumberland River and its tributaries around Nashville can be collection zones for litter. Often litter that gets thrown out on streets will flow into creeks and rivers after rain events via drainage systems.

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