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Water Sweep Helps Keep Ouachita Parish Waterways Flowing Free of Trash

Trash can clog up drains, which may cause flooding.

Ouachita Green works to keep Ouachita Parish and surrounding area trash-free through community events like "Water Sweep" and "Ouachita Green Recycling Collection Event."

"Water Sweep" encourages the public to clean out the Ouachita Parish waterways October 20 from 8 a.m. to noon. Boaters are needed to help volunteers navigate the river and collect waste. Individuals and groups can pre-register for free tee-shirts while supplies last or sign up the day of the event at any of the sites.

Volunteers are told to wear closed-toe shoes, jeans, and work gloves. Ouachita Green is providing lifevests, litter grabbers, bottles of water, mosquito spray, and sunscreen if needed. In case of rain, Stuart Hodnett of Ouachita Green plans to announce a raincheck via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

"Water Sweep" looks to tackle trash at these sites:

Credit Ann Baekken, /
Trash that goes unrecycled ends up in landfills or in the ocean.

  • Ouachita River and shoreline
  • Lazarre Park
  • Forsythe Park
  • Moon Lake Recreation Area
  • Bawcomville Recreation Area
  • Black Bayou Lake NWR
  • Darbonne NWR
  • ULM/Bayou Desiard
  • Sterlington Recreation Area

According to Hodnett, trash collects in waterways and may be eaten by fish, ducks, and turtles. The trash also contributes to the buildup of microplastics in the environment, which is also dangerous to aquatic life. One of the waterways being cleaned is Bayou Desiard, the source of drinking water for Monroe City.
Ouachita Green Recycling Collection Event gives individuals an opportunity to dispose of recyclables responsibly. The event is held on America Recycles Day, November 10 from 9-1 p.m. Ouachita Green is accepting recyclable items from individuals and households, as well as Goodwill donations. A full list of what items are and are not accepted is available here.

The collection is for households only. Large quantities from businesses, farms, or commercial operations are not allowed. Dropping off recyclable items is free, but cash donations supporting Ouachita Green are accepted.

Hodnett says the new recycling initiative in West Monroe is going great. "I think we're right at 1,000 lbs a day and about 12,000 lbs since it's been open." The West Monroe Recycling Center is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7-3 p.m. and is located at 211 Cypress St. in West Monroe.

Credit Keep West Monroe Beautiful Facebook /
The West Monroe Recycling Center opened September 19, 2018.

More information about Ouachita Green is available here. For more information or to volunteer for America Recycles Day, call Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful at (318) 355-5622.