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'The amount of trash is pretty bad right now:' Volunteers work to clean up Milwaukee parks

The Executive Director of Milwaukee Riverkeeper stated that after a rough winter, with snow melting and windy conditions, trash has become a major problem in the city.
Posted at 7:15 AM, Apr 21, 2023

MILWAUKEE — On Earth Day, a group of volunteers in Milwaukee will take action to clean up the city's parks and rivers, where tons of trash and litter have been piling up.

Jennifer Bolger Breceda, Executive Director of Milwaukee Riverkeeper, stated that after a rough winter, with snow melting and windy conditions, trash has become a major problem in the city with single-use plastics ending up in the waterway system.

"It gets into our waterways, and our waterways our rivers and our lakes are our drinking water source. It is really important to keep that clean and protected and try to restore that so we can stay healthy," said Bolger Breceda.

On Wednesday, a group of volunteers, all coworkers, joined forces with the Milwaukee Riverkeeper to do their part in cleaning up McGovern Park. Despite the unusual items found, such as car parts and statues, all of the trash is a sore sight to see for volunteer Justin Rantanen.

"We are trying to clean up the park so everyone can enjoy it," said Rantanen.

On Saturday about 4,000 volunteers are expected to clean up 80 different locations across various Milwaukee areas on Earth Day. Last year alone, volunteers collected over 100,000 pounds of trash, and this year, they expect to collect even more.

"The amount of trash is pretty bad right now," said Bolger Breceda.

For Rantanen, he hopes that everyone will do their protect the planet beyond Earth Day and take small actions to make a big difference.

"If everyone could take a little time out of their day at the park to bring a small trash bag and pick up trash, we would have parks that are truly clean," said Rantanen.

To learn more about the event and how you can help click here.


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