Littering problem along Arkansas riverbank is reason for city event

WICHITA, Kansas – Lace up your grubbiest shoes and get ready to clean up the beautiful river running through downtown Wichita.

The City of Wichita is holding their annual Arkansas River Trash Roundup Saturday morning in efforts to help pick up and even prevent the littering problem along the river.

Styrofoam cups, trash bags, aluminum cans, these are just a few things you might find floating by the Arkansas River bank.

“It’s kind of off putting, not really wanting to stare at it too long,” explained Wichitan, Makel Smith.

“It’s distracting from the nice little view of the river. I really don’t like to be around it when it’s all trashy and stuff, kind of just want to go home,” said Javon Barber, also a Wichita Resident.

“It accumulates along the riverbanks, a lot of it flows down the river,” stated Tom Kneil, Ark River Coalition, Board Member.

Sadly, all too often the pretty view of the Arkansas River is accompanied by trash. That’s why every Earth Day, the city works to change that.

“The trash belongs in the trash can and that’s what I’ve always thought and it makes me sad that people don’t think that way and that they think that the environment is for them to pollute,” Cindy Le, Environmental Specialist, City of Wichita

On Saturday, the City of Wichita is putting on the annual Arkansas River trash round-up, an event that attracts close to 1,000 volunteers, who take time out of their day to pick the litter up.

“Anything and everything you’ll find in here,” stated Le.

According to city officials, each year at the Arkansas River Trash Round up, volunteers collect around 2 tons of garbage from the river. They find anything from Styrofoam cups, plastic bottles, grocery shopping carts and even a basketball goal.

However, because the city’s cleanup funding is limited, other volunteer organizations are looking in to possibly putting on more volunteer events to keep the tourist attraction clean.

“If you took that number and divided it into four that would be 200 people available. We could do it four times a year and that would probably help,” Kneil said.

An ongoing problem that environmental groups are working hard to put a stop to.

The Arkansas River Trash Round Up will take place Saturday from 9am to noon.

All the information can be found here:

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