Columbia's Annual Hinkson Clean Up Gathers 1.5 Tons of Trash

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COLUMBIA - Residents of all ages spent Saturday morning wading through Columbia's waters picking up trash during the ninth annual Hinkson Clean Sweep. More than 200 participants put on their rain boots and rubber gloves and collected approximately 1.5 tons of trash.

There were six locations in total; including Flat Branch Park, Capen Park and the Grindstone Nature Area. Victoria King brought her children to the Flat Branch location Saturday to teach them about community service.

"It's really important for our children to give back, especially to the community we live in," King said. "This way, they'll recognize that good deeds really go a long way and that our environment really needs our help."

King's son Syd said his favorite part of the morning was finding bottles in the river. Caitlin Smith, Robert MacGregor and Sydney Hodson were just a few of the children at Flat Branch Park who carried around clean sweep bags for two hours collecting plastic bags, bottles and litter along Hinkson Creek.

The City of Columbia Storm Water Educator Mike Heimos was happy with the turnout, but noted it was sad to think how much litter was collected.

"What citizens don't realize is that cigarette butt they throw out the window, the oil leaking from their car, the wrapper they drop on the street-- all of those end up in our creeks," Heimos said. "Only one percent of the world's water is drinkable, and we're contaminating it."

The Hinkson Clean Sweep is just one of the ways to get involved with stream clean up in Columbia To learn more, visit the stormwater Facebook page for the city of Columbia.

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