Siouxland Cleanup 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009
Sioux City, IA

Our Siouxland clean-ups are a special point of pride with Missouri River Relief. Thanks to the efforts of our Middle Reach Manager Vicki Richmond and the proactive involvement of a long list of local partners, Siouxland is developing its own crew to organize an annual Missouri River clean-up themselves.

And all that hard work made this an even smoother-running event than last year's success.

With the high water the area has been experiencing, we were "worried" that there might not be good spots to place volunteers to clean up. Well, there was no problem there! One crew tackled the stormwater outfall that spills trash right into the ramp area, scooping up trash with pool nets and, eventually a boat.

siouxland cleanup 2009
Trashhaul incoming!! Photo by Carol Merbach.

The overflow from the old municipal dump on the Nebraska side, a major site last year, was tackled once again. This time the hardcore trash-getters even waded out into the water to retrieve items hidden by the high water, then cutting them apart with a chopsaw to clean out the mud.

Several crews tackled stormwater outfalls from the Interstate, which were thankfully much cleaner than last year. Others hit the riverside trail in mass, even climbing over the fence to bag up trash blown off the interstate. All that trash got hauled back by ATV.

Most of the riverside spots were fishermen and recreational trash - cans, bottles, worm boxes, broken chairs and fishing line. It felt good to get that stuff out of there. Because the river was about as high as it has been in a while, much of the trash we often find washed in had already been washed downstream.

Siouxland Cleanup 2009
Crew and volunteers coming back, and showing off the interesting scrap metal they found! Photo by Carol Merbach.

A new addition this year were two $100 awards offered to the most interesting trash find and the group that brought the most volunteers. The awards were provided by Keep Northeast Nebraska Beautiful. The local Latter Day Saints temple deservedly received the award for most volunteers - 36 members came to help everywhere from sign-up to tear down to river crews to trail crews! There were also 9 volunteers from University of South Dakota Upward Bound, 9 volunteers from the new Siouxland Mudpuppies clean-up group and 9 volunteers from B&G Brick.

The most interesting trash award went to a group of friends that found a rusty old pogo stick! Don't see those often anymore.

Here's the Trash Tally for the day....

Trash Tally

97 bags of trash
7 tires
4 chunks of styrofoam
2 55 gallon metal drums
2 refrigerators
4 washers
2 hot water heaters
1 chest freezer
1 propane tank
1 microwave
1 microwave cart
1 mattress
1 box spring
2 bed rails
1 recliner
1 folding chair
1 1948 light blue Buick Roadmaster hood
1 1966 Iowa license plate
2 car bumpers
1 side view mirror
1 rearview mirror
1 auto grill
2 wooden pallets
1 pvc pipe
5 pieces of lumber
33 metal strips
3 metal pipes
5 metal hunks
36 feet of steel cable
3 pieces of chain link fence
6 pieces of rebar
1 water tank
1 burner
1 grill
2 8X10 sheets of plate metal
1 bridge decking
6 pieces of metal decking
1 metal fence with wood posts
Farm fencing
2 televisions
1 computer monitor
1 pogo stick
1 No Wake sign
1 Private Property Union Pacific Railroad sign
1 golf ball
1 doggie door
1 railroad car hand brake actuator
1 tin of wet snuff
1 pale yellow toilet bowl
1 duck decoy head
1 computer monitor
1 small U.S. Flag
1 polished native copper stone from Santa Rita, NM
1 minnow fishing lure
1 full can of beer-Miller Lite
1 football
1 plaid lawn chair
1 crab skeleton

Sioux City Cleanup Results

Total Volunteers: 182

  • Volunteers signed in: 159
  • River Relief Crew: 23
  • Boats: 11 (4 Missouri River Relief, 1 Army Corps of Engineers, 2 Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 4 Nebraska Game and Parks)
  • River Miles Cleaned: 12 (10 miles MM728-738, 2 miles at the mouth of the Big Sioux)
  • River Stage: 16.7-ft. @ Sioux City gauge
  • Landfill: 1.5 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 1.8 ton
  • Tires: 7 - 0.1 tons

Total Trash Tonnage: 3.4 TONS

Event Sponsors

Cleanup programs like these would not be possible without our generous donors and sponsors.

Argosy Casino

American Water


City of Sioux City, IA

City of South Sioux City, NE

Keep Iowa Beautiful

Keep Northeast Nebraska Beautiful

McCook Lake Chapter of the Izaak Walton League

Missouri River Historical Development

National Park Service

State Steel

South Sioux City Convention & Visitors Bureau

Event Partners

American Popcorn

Artic Ice

Iowa Army National Guard

Avery Bros.

Betty Strong Encounter Center

Durly's Foods

Fareway - Transit Ave. & Riverside stores

Feed Energy

Frito Lay

Gill Hauling


Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Interbake Foods

John & Alex Jansen

Marina Inn

Mlr-Tym Marina

Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Palmer Candy

Pepsi-Cola of Siouxland

Sara Lee

Sioux City Compressed Steel

Sgt. Floyd Welcome Center

South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks

Tri-State Communications

Turpak Foods

US Army Corps of Engineers

Ready for Action?

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