P&G employees help clean up Ohio River alongside Living Lands & Waters

    P & G employees help clean up Ohio River alongside Living Lands & Waters (WKRC)

    CINCINNATI (WKRC)- Chad Pregracki started cleaning up rivers in 1997 when he created Living Lands & Waters.

    "From what I see, all the thousands of 55 gallon barrels that have been disregarded into the rivers and refrigerators and tires and all that. I don't like seeing it, and just wanted to do something about it," Pregracki said.

    Pregracki first came to the Cincinnati area in 2013. He said the group has removed about 150,000 pounds of trash from the area.

    That's nothing compared to the 10 million pounds of garbage Pregracki said the group has cleaned up since 1997.

    "It's volunteers like today that are making it happen. We'll go out there and get thousands of pounds today and make a real difference," Pregracki said.

    Around 70 Procter & Gamble employees volunteered Tuesday afternoon. They are the latest in a line of roughly 100,000 volunteers Living Lands & Waters has had over the past 21 years.

    "It's really fun to come out and partner with Chad and his team and come out here, and at the end of the day, you can really see the difference you made," Julie Desylva with P&G said.

    Desylva said this is the third year P&G employees volunteered.

    The Living Lands & Waters barge went down river near the Anderson Ferry where the small boats were unleashed on the river and the volunteers began cleaning up.

    Last year, Desylva said they removed more than 18,000 pounds of trash.

    Desylva said P&G had trouble getting volunteers the first year because no one knew about Living Lands and Waters.

    "Last year, it was a lot easier because of word of mouth. This year, we had to actually close down the registration three days after we started it because so many people wanted to get involved," Desylva said.

    Pregracki said Living Lands & Waters only needed small boats when it started.

    "With the sheer volume of stuff we pull out of the rivers unfortunately, we had to move to barges," Pregracki said.

    There's still time to volunteer and help clear some trash if you or your organization are interested.

    "We're going to be on the Ohio River until past Thanksgiving. So, we've got some time left in the year and we need all the help we can get," Pregracki said.

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