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Local nonprofit cleans up 36,000 pounds of trash along American River

Nonprofit helps clean up trash along American River
Nonprofit helps clean up trash along American River 01:53

SACRAMENTO — A local nonprofit helped remove tens of thousands of pounds of trash from the Riverdale area along the American River.

A small army of volunteers rolled out into the area on a mission to make the area beautiful again after storms flooded out homeless encampments there weeks ago.

Mark Baker and volunteers with the River City Waterway Alliance cleared out 36,000 pounds of trash along with the help of folks like Randy Smith.

"I've been doing this for many many years," Smith said.

They bring their own tools, ready to get to work.

"They were looking for volunteers, so I figured [I'd help] clean up the river. It's all about the fishing for me, so I'm just here to help."

It was an all-hands-on-deck effort in sometimes dangerous conditions. Twin sisters Margarita and Myrna carefully sorted through a bucket of used hypodermic needles.

"We probably found three gallons of needles at this very site last time. We were here last week," Smith said. "We sort through batteries and needles and all toxics and such."

It's one of just many bio-hazards crews deal with, but they want lawmakers to come up with a better plan for maintenance.

"We don't want to come back over and over and over and do the same thing," Margarita said. "We want to keep it clean."

It's a call to action for other community organizations as well, asking them to step up when it comes to cleaning up

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