by Jonathan Copsey; Appen Newspapers
Milton – It's a sobering reminder of the careless nature of some people when an entire day is set aside to clean up the city's waterways.
This year's Rivers Alive event was held at Bailey Farms and Gardens, with teams spread throughout the city, canvassing the streams and roads to collect debris and garbage.
Among the trash found were numerous shards of broken glass from all manner of bottles, especially alcohol bottles, old tires, rusted and twisted metal, mattresses, a couch, bagged hunting remains, an old sawed-off shotgun and an old road sign for a Fulton County prison.
"This is an opportunity for people to make a difference," said Julie Zahner-Bailey, an organizer of the event and city council member, who has been taking part in the statewide event for 13 years. "Rivers Alive is a wonderful annual event that allows for the education of young and old regarding the importance of water quality. It's fun, and people look forward to it."
Volunteers brought their trash back to Bailey Farms to pile it into a large heap by the road, making the amount of trash undeniable to the passers-by.
Siblings Curran and Emma Harrison said they were surprised by the amount of trash. They expected to fill just one trash bag; they filled it in five minutes.
"How do people think that a couch belongs in a river?" asked Curran, who found a lot of glass and bottles during his cleanup, adding, "Get a life."
And what lessons are learned from picking up other people's garbage? Emma summed it up perfectly:
"Don't throw trash out the window, put it in a trashcan."