ELKINS - The 11th annual Great Tygart Valley River Clean-up is slated for Saturday and the city of Elkins is looking for volunteers who want to help improve public safety and the town's image.
"Last year it was really bad because we had to cancel the 2012 event because of high water," Elkins Operations Manager Bob Pingley said. "I think we are making headway. It makes a big impact on the way the town looks. A lot of people come to town to ride the train and when they cross the railroad bridge they see the river on both sides. It is important for the overall image of town."
Pingley said the event helps public safety. He said in past years, volunteers have pulled all sorts of items from the river, including wheelchairs, strollers, tires, and even more extreme trash.
"We have found some old meth labs," Pingley said. "We had one last year by Wilson Street. A volunteer actually carried it up to the road not knowing what it was."
Pingley said volunteers have also found hypodermic needles, broken glass and "trash bags of who knows what" in the water.
Anyone wishing to participate in the Great Tygart Valley River Clean-up can meet at the city's Baxter Street garage at 9 a.m. The city will provide gloves, trash bags and grabbers to pick up the garbage. Pingley said there are also a few sets of waders available.
"Depending on how many people show up, depends on how much we will get done," he said. "We focus on the river flowing through town. We try to clean up the banks and what we can reach."
For more information about the Great Tygart Valley River Clean-up, visit www.facebook.com/tvrcu
Pingley said the city is also gearing up to begin its yard waste pick-up service. He said the first pick-up will be Monday and all yard waste, like grass clippings, leaves and limbs up to 2 inches in diameter, can be picked up. Pingley said no household garbage can be
The pick-ups will continue on the first Tuesday of every month beginning in May and continuing until September.