OHIO RIVER SWEEP ORGANIZERS SEE PROGRESS OF LITTER PROGRAM
OHIO RIVER SWEEP ORGANIZERS SEE PROGRESS OF LITTER PROGRAM CINCINNATI, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The theme of the 1992 Ohio River Sweep - "It's working" - was right on target, according to organizers of the one-day riverbank cleanup. On June 20, more than 17,000 volunteers swarmed the banks of the Ohio in six states picking up 13,000 tons of paper, plastic bottles, tires and other debris. The project was conducted by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) in partnership with Ashland Oil, Inc. (NYSE: ASH) and six state environmental agencies and other private companies. According to project director Jeanne Ison, the response to the 1992 Sweep was outstanding. "Overall, we had 14 percent more volunteers this year than in 1991. However, in some locations, the numbers increased 30 percent. We added 30 new cleanup sites this year, for a total of 220. We had more people involved, yet we only collected the same amount of trash as last year. The fact that we're seeing less litter from one year to the next tells us our efforts are paying off," she said. "There used to be large items like dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines littering almost every cleanup site. However, this year, they were found only occasionally," Ison continued. "The real culprit at the new site locations was tires. We hauled away hundreds." Other items found by volunteers included a dirt bike, an overstuffed office chair, a toilet seat, a lawn chair, an automobile gasoline tank, a kitchen sink, a teddy bear, a grenade shell, a rifle, a shopping cart, a boat anchor, a 1958 liquor company statement, a $10 bill, an antique bottle, a lawn mower and hundreds of plastic bottles. The River Sweep, begun as a pilot project in 1989, has grown from including 150 miles of riverbank between Ashland, Ky. and Cincinnati to now encompassing the entire 1,962 miles of shoreline, from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Ill. The first Sweep attracted 1,200 volunteers, with 14,000 people in 1990 and 15,000 people last year. "We are particularly proud of the way the Sweep has expanded," said Dan Lacy, vice president of corporate communications for Ashland Oil. "The level of interest since the very first Sweep has created an unbelievable momentum.
People of all ages want to get involved. They are environmentally conscious, and many come out on the day of the Sweep with tremendous commitment to cleaning up their communities and their river. This campaign not only literally cleans the riverbanks, it promotes an attitude that people just won't tolerate litter anymore.
"In addition to the increase in volunteers and amount of trash collected over the years, we are proud that the Sweep was extended this year to include portions of the Monongahela, Allegheny and Beaver Rivers near Pittsburgh," Lacy added. "Governmental agencies, private citizens and businesses are seeing the impact of this participation and they want to include their rivers. It's an exciting project." Coordinators organized the 1992 volunteer efforts for 72 counties bordering the Ohio River in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. Four counties in the lower river had to postpone their local River Sweep activities on June 20 because of high river waters and are rescheduling the event for later this summer. "It would be ideal if a project of this magnitude weren't needed," Ison said. "Until that time, we'll keep trying. It's encouraging to know we're making headway. More people are showing concern and willingness to correct the problem. Anthan ever. Children are involved, senior citizens are involved, and all ages in between work side-by- side for hours to help clean the Ohio River." The Ohio River Sweep has continually been successful in uniting the efforts of governmental agencies and private industry, in addition to thousands of individual volunteers. State agencies in the six states supporting the program include the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Kentucky Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Cabinet, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Private industry who participate, in addition to Ashland Oil, Inc., include DuPont, Procter & Gamble, Ohio River Co., Dow Corning, Louisville Gas and Electric, BASF, Neville Chemical, Ashland Chemical, Arco Chemicals, Duquesne Light and Miles, Inc. The 1991 River Sweep also is being recognized today in Washington, at a Take Pride in America national awards ceremony sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The largest cleanup program of its kind in the nation, the 1991 River Sweep was chosen one of the top 80 programs that make wise use of America's resources. Based in Cincinnati, ORSANCO is an interstate water pollution control agency created in 1948 by Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania to achieve clean streams in the Ohio River Valley. Ashland Oil, Inc. is a diversified energy corporation engaged in petroleum refining, transportation and marketing; retail gasoline marketing; motor oil marketing; chemicals; coal; highway construction; and oil and gas exploration and production. -0- 7/21/92 /CONTACT: Roger Schrum of Ashland Oil, Inc., 606-329-4061/ (ASH) CO: Ashland Oil, Inc.; Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission ST: Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia IN: SU:
CD -- PG010 -- 1238 07/21/92 10:49 EDT
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|Date:||Jul 21, 1992|
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