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Living Lands and Waters Wants to Double Cleanup Efforts

An environmental group based in the Quad Cities has a new vision: removing one million pounds of trash from rivers each year. The goal comes as Living Lands and Waters wraps up this year's record-breaking season. 

Founder and President Chad Pregracke says each year, his group removes about 500,000 pounds of trash from rivers. Now, he wants to double that, with help from a newly purchased garbage barge, excavator, and mini towboat.

He says mud-covered trash that would take a crew 45 minutes to remove from water, takes an excavator 45 seconds. 
Pregracke says this year, Living Lands and Waters cleaned up rivers in 12 different states, including the Tennessee River for the first time. They also did the most back-to-back cleanup events ever, completing 63 events in just 60 days, across four states. 

Pregracke hopes to tackle the Ohio River in the next two years.

Pregracke says since 1998, his team has removed nine million pounds of trash from rivers in 23 states. And next year, Living Lands and Waters will reach their goal of planting one million trees.