Volunteers pick up over 910 lbs of trash during Lytle Creek cleanup | News

MURFRESBORO, TN (WSMV) — Over 910 lbs. litter was removed during a cleanup on Lytle Creek in Murfreesboro on Sunday. It was organized by Tennessee Riverkeeper and Mayday Brewery.

Five volunteers removed litter from Lytle Creek and its shoreline to address the growing problem of plastic pollution. These items include 25 bags of trash, as well as larger items such as miscellaneous railroad debris, tires, and scrap metal. Plastic bottles, polystyrene foam, cigarette butts and various packaging were the most abundant waste.

“In 2021, Riverkeeper removed over 10,600 pounds of trash from entering our waterways,” said David Whiteside, founder of the nonprofit Tennessee Riverkeeper. “These events show that a few people can make a difference, and the cleanups give hope to hundreds of thousands of citizens who care about our blessed river and its tributaries. Drinking water is a non-partisan issue; we are all in there.”

Cleanup organizers say a lot of trash is pouring into Tennessee’s rivers and streams. In 2019, Tennessee Riverkeeper launched a microplastics campaign to remove plastic and other litter from waterways, while raising awareness of this pollution threat.

“Scientists have found that the Tennessee River is polluted with as many as 16,000 to 18,000 microplastic particles per cubic yard,” Whiteside added in a statement. “This pollution occurs when larger plastics break down over time. Experts believe they can last for hundreds of years and the toxicity can “biomagnify” as the microplastics build up up the food chain.

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