Siouxland Missouri River Cleanup 2011

South Sioux City Parks & Rec Boat Ramp - South Sioux City, NE
Saturday, May 7th, 2011

The tri-state Siouxland area loves their river, and a group of local organizers has been working with us for to develop their own annual Missouri River cleanup event. This was our fourth consecutive year cleaning up in the Siouxland area.

This year 97 volunteers joined us to clean up the river. On a four-mile stretch of river, they recovered 3.5 tons of trash!

Our two local organizers were Desiree McCaslen (from Sioux City Wastewater Treatment) and Sally Reinert (of Keep Northeast Nebraska Beautiful). They've both been helping from the beginning, and did a lot of the necessary outreach, planning and logistics. Not to mention feeding our crew! Thanks girls!

Volunteers removing trash from the banks of the Missouri River. Photo by Dylan Lehrbaum

Because there was another cleanup going on upriver in Yankton, we had fewer available boats this year. But Nebraska Game and Parks brought two of their huge plate boats, so there was no problem. Plus, NGPC pilot Ken Hatten hauled trash all afternoon. That boat holds a lot of trash!

Most of our volunteers were from local groups. Cargill GOSCNA and DSO brought 19 folks, mostly families that work at the local plant. Dakota County 4H showed up and so did our local clean-up favorites, the Siouxland Mudpuppies. A bunch of local volunteers helped us with signup, safety and dispatch.

The river was even higher this year than last year when we thought it was high. As we've seen before, this made it easier for volunteers to get up on the banks, but tough landing boats in flooded willow thickets. Less vegetation in May made it easier to find junk out in the woods, and this group of volunteers brought in a lot of trash!

Boat operator Ken hauling a second load of trash. Photo by Dylan Lehrbaum.

The trash contest had one of the strangest, most diverse batch of entries we've ever seen (see the trash tally below). And that doesn't even count the stuff that wasn't entered such as a garter and a kilo of cocaine (see the Sioux City Journal article linked on the right).

Thanks to everyone in Siouxland for making it happen!

We couldn't do all of this without our volunteers and partners! Photo by Dylan Lehrbaum.

Trash Tally:

124 Bags of Trash
33 Car & Truck Tires
3 Bicycle Tires
1 Tire Rim
6 Chunks O’ Styrofoam
1 Cooler
6 5-gallon Plastic Buckets
1 with Mystery Fluid
3 5-gallon Metal Buckets
1 55-gallon Plastic Barrel
8 rusty cans of Paint
1 Gas Can
1 guts of a Washing Machine
1 Chest Freezer
1 Metal Fire Grate
1 Lawn Mower Deck
3 Mattresses
5 Boxsprings
2 Chairs
1 yellow Toilet Tank & Lid
1 Vacuum Cleaner
1 Chinese Flag
3 Mufflers
1 Ford Grill
1 Buick Grill
1 Dodge Tail Gate
2 Gas Tanks
1 Car Battery
2 Train Parts
1 Motorcycle Cylinder Head & Jugs, Banana Seat, Fender, Front Forks, and Wheel
1 Tricycle
1wrecked Kawasaki Jet Ski
1 wounded Satellite Dish
2 pieces of Carpet
1 Concrete Block
1 Metal Siding
1 Heavy Duty Rope
1 PVC Pipe
2 Wire Fences
1 piece of Corrugated Metal
2 pieces of Rebar
1 Target Stand for shooting
1 Lead Pipe w/ Channel Iron
2 ½ ft Saw Blade Rotary
28 ft of Metal Cable
2 TVs
1 Typewriter
1 RCA 6-disk changer Stereo with 2 Speakers
1 Tarp
1 Window Shade
1 Milk Crate made into a bike basket
1 KB Transportation Sign
1 Squeegee Top
1 Highway Merge Sign
1 Picture Frame
1 Exercise Machine
1 pair of Blue Jeans
1 Golf Club Driver
1 CD
1 UNO Card
1 Wedding Garter
1 Blond Wig
1 Kilo of Cocaine wrapped in duct tape -turned into police
1 Ring Buoy Life Preserver
1 Dog Collar w/ complete dog skeleton & rabies tag
1 Feather in a Bottle

Siouxland Cleanup Results

Photo album on Flickr

River Notes Blog


Total Volunteers: 97

  • Sioux Crew: 13
  • River Relief Crew: 17
  • Boats: 6 (3 MRR, 2 Nebraska Game & Parks, 1 U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary)
  • River Miles Cleaned: 5
  • River Stage: 23.7-ft. @ Sioux City gauge
  • Landfill: 2.4 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 0.7 tons
  • Tires: 33 - 0.56 tons

Total Trash Tonnage: 3.6 tons

Groups Participating: Missouri American Water, Keep Northeast Nebraska Beautiful, Nebraska Game & Parks, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Americorps State, Feed Energy, Dakota City Clover Kids, Cargill Inc. - GOSCNA and DSO, Siouxland Mudpuppies, Scenic Park, City of South Sioux City, South Sioux City YMCA

Fun Team Names: The Dog Pound, The Lagging Turtles, Clover Kids, Feed Energy, Mudpuppies, The Trash Picker-uppers

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors and Partners:

Cargill Inc. - GOSCNA and DSO

Betty Strong Encounter Center
City of Sioux City, IA
City of South Sioux City, NE
Dakota County 4-H
Feed Energy
Goodwill Camp
Lindblom Enterprises
LP Gill Hauling & Landfill
Iowa Army National Guard
Izaak Walton League
Keep Northeast Nebraska Beautiful
Marina Inn
Mlr-Tym Marina
National Park Service
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
Scenic Park
Siouxland Mudpuppies
Sgt. Floyd Welcome Center
South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks
South Sioux City Chamberettes
South Sioux City Convention & Visitors Bureau
South Sioux City HyVee
South Sioux City Parks and Recreation
Siouxland YMCA
State Steel/Compressed Steel
US Army Corps of Engineers
Wal-Mart (South Sioux City)

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