Volunteers to pick up scrap metal from riverbank
March 17, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Metals such as aluminum, copper and chromium can lead to deadly diseases when ingested over time. All too often, traces of them creep into our drinking water.
That’s one reason more than 30 volunteers are expected to spend part of their weekend picking up scrap metal at Portland Wharf on the Ohio River on March 27.
Members of Group Recycling and Sustainable Solutions (GRASS), a University of Louisville student organization working to promote environmental sustainability, will take part in the cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon along with UofL faculty and staff and community volunteers.
The workers will pick up cast-off railroad spikes and other scrap metal littering the site and take it to a recycling center, said GRASS president Olivia Sailor, a UofL junior. The student group will use the proceeds from selling the metal to pay for public events such as an environmental film and lecture series at UofL’s Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium.
“The Ohio River is a big attraction for Louisville,” Sailor said. “We’re supporting the community by cleaning up the riverside, and the money we make will go toward helping people in our community get a better handle on environmental issues.”
GRASS and UofL’s Center for Environmental Education organized the project in collaboration with Living Lands and Waters, a nonprofit organization based in East Moline, Ill., that travels the nation’s rivers on a barge doing environmental cleanup.
Last March, Living Lands and Waters volunteers removed more than 200 tires, 10 appliances, three shopping carts and several tons of other debris from the Ohio River near Louisville.
For more details, call Sailor, 502-264-3643, or Teddie Phillipson Mower of UofL’s Center for Environmental Education, 502-852-0791.