Hartsburg Missouri River Cleanup 2018

Saturday, October 20, 2018
Hartsburg MDC Public Boat Access, Hartsburg, MO

It has been five years since Missouri River Relief has visited the beautiful town of Hartsburg, MO for a large-scale community-based clean-up. We were so glad to be back in the beautiful Missouri River Bottoms at Hartsburg, MO just in time to witness some of the beautiful fall colors the hills had to offer.

A cold start to a warm-hearted day on the Big Muddy is how the staff and crew at Missouri River Relief would explain what happened at the Hartsburg, MO Missouri Department of Conservation Boat Ramp on Saturday. Over 200 volunteers from the surrounding communities joined us for our annual Mid-Missouri Clean-up on the Missouri River. During our trash scout on Friday, we were worried that we were going to have a lot of trouble getting our volunteers up the steep banks and through the deep mud to find the trash scattered throughout the woods. Of course, our hardcore volunteers brought their very best and found more trash than we ever expected to find on our pre-scouted sites.

Volunteers about to head out to the muddy banks with Emily Phergio with USFWS. Photo by Kevin Tosie

As boats returned, boots covered in mud and smiling faces were everywhere – a marvelous sight. Wonderful music by Dave Bandy played in the background as volunteers lined up for lunch. Piles of trash treasures started to build next to their respective categories, waiting to win an award for the best find. Not too much later the trash contest began, with applause and cheers that could be heard all around the boat ramp.

Crew member Abbey showing off some of the trash treasures of the day for the crowd. Photo by: Melanie Cheney

After just a couple of hours, volunteers collected 143 big bags of trash and removed 38 tires from the banks of the river, totaling 3.31 tons! While our crew went through the many bags of trash to separate out recycling, we picked out a couple of interesting items to count. We picked light bulbs, airplane bottles and balls of various sizes and types. After going through most of the bags that made it to land, we counted 26 light bulbs, 44 airplane bottles and 68 balls of various sizes. Thank you so much to our sponsors, partners, volunteers, and crew for helping us put on this amazing event. This clean-up was such a great way to end our clean-up season and we are already looking forward to the next one.

44 airplane bottles were found during the clean-up. "It just goes to show when you see it in the street, it always ends up in the river." Photo by: Steve Schnarr

Trash Tally

143 Bags Trash!! and...

  • 38 tires on rims
  • 1 Message in a bottle
  • 2 toy truck tires on the rim
  • 1 car wheel well
  • 4 car headlights
  • 1 motorcycle helmet
  • 1 toboggan
  • 1/2 buoy
  • 4 propane tanks
  • 14 large chunks of Styrofoam (one sporting 6 turkey feathers)
  • 3 sections corrugated culvert pipe 14” diameter
  • 2 refrigerators
  • 7 coolers
  • 1 thermos
  • 1 CRT television
  • 1 wooden pallet
  • 1 section plastic lattice
  • 10 plastic tubs
  • 2 5-gallon plastic buckets
  • 1 25-gallon metal barrel
  • 1 55-gallon metal barrel
  • 1 75-gallon metal barrel
  • 1 55-gallon metal barrel rim
  • 2 55-gallon plastic barrels
  • 3 plastic barrel halves
  • 44 shot bottles
  • 2 turtle shells
  • 68 muddy balls
  • 1 goose decoy
  • 1 can of Raid
  • 4 flip-flops
  • 26 light bulbs


Trash Contest Finds:

Most likely to be used as a weapon:
  • Lighter
  • Nerf bullet
Most useful:
  • Full container of oregano
  • Toilet brush
  • Bucket
Best Muddy Ball:
  • Dick’s soccer ball
  • Hello Kitty ball
Most Fashionable:
  • Flip flops
  • Chapstick

Hartsburg Cleanup Results

Check out the amazing photos on Facebook and Flickr!

Check out our news coverage of the event:

ABC17 News- "Hundreds of volunteers help clean up Missouri River near Hartsburg"

Total Volunteers: 202

  • Volunteers signed in: 169
  • River Relief Crew: 33
  • Boats: 7 boats (4 MRR Boats | 1 MDC | 2 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
  • River Miles Cleaned: 12 (MM155 - MM167)
  • River Stage: 17.5-ft. @ Jefferson City Gauge
  • Landfill: 1.6 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 0.2 tons
  • Recyclables: 0.85 tons
  • Tires: 53 (0.67 tons)

Total Trash Tonnage: 3.31 tons!

Groups Participating: Girls of Nature, Columbia College Men’s Lacrosse Team, Ashland FFA, CMU Environmental Science Club, Wild Bunch, UM CMP, Stream Team #3811 and Hickman High Biology Club

Fun Team Names: Sturgeon Surgeons, The Wild Bunch, Salty Varmints, Trash Pandas, HoCo A-Team, Trashy River Team, Muddy Matt, CC LAX, Better Half Ashland FFA, Trash Bandits, Mud Puppies, Girls of Nature 

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors:

"Great Blue Heron" Event Sponsors

Missouri American WaterMissouri Department of ConservationMid-Missouri Solid Waste Management DistrictDepartment of Natural Resources

Tom Smith Charitable Fund

"Paddlefish" Event Sponsor

Sam's Club #8163

In-Kind Sponsors

Missouri Stream Team

Event Partners

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