6th annual Penobscot River cleanup Saturday

Posted May 13, 2010, at 9:06 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — Volunteers young and old have removed tons and tons of old, discarded refrigerators, clothing and trash from the banks of the Penobscot River over the last five years, and this year’s streamside cleanup event is Saturday.

“There were two or three places where there were junkyards where a whole bunch of metal was removed,” Ken Locke, the city’s environmental services director, said Wednesday.

The city’s Stormwater Public Education and Participation Committee is host for the sixth annual cleanup, which in five years has collected “over 25 tons of trash and debris along the Penobscot River, its tributaries and other sensitive areas in Brewer,” Locke said in a statement.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the Brewer Auditorium at 8 a.m. After a short safety presentation, the group will be dispatched to locations on the shoreline and around the city to pick up trash until noon. At noon, the group will reassemble at the auditorium for a free picnic lunch and volunteer recognition ceremony, sponsored each year by Jeff’s Catering.

“At our picnic we talk about some of the things that were found,” Locke said.

In years past, volunteers have collected “kitchen appliances, mattresses, discarded guardrails,” along with styrofoam coffee cups and fast-food containers, he said.

More than 275 volunteers from all over the region will converge on the city to help, Locke said, listing eight Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, local Kiwanis members, Brewer firefighters and police officers, and City Councilors Manley DeBeck and Larry Doughty.

Clubs, such as longtime participants Geocaching in Maine, and groups from local businesses, including CES Inc., and Brewer Automotive Components, now known as Somic America Inc., also have signed on to clean the riverfront and other areas of the city.

A promotional video about the cleanup is available on the city’s website, brewerme.org. In the event of extremely inclement weather, the rain date is May 22.

Those in the Brewer region who want to volunteer should contact Locke at 989-5417 or by e-mail at klocke@brewerme.org.

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