It's always fascinating to hear what volunteers find during Mecklenburg County's annual Big Sweep cleanup of local creeks.
Among this year's haul collected by more than 700 volunteers:
Four rollout trash bins. A picnic bench.
And a set of dentures.
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As always, the Oct. 4 cleanup of creeks and lakes, coordinated by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, is all about “expecting the unexpected,” said Erin Oliverio, water quality educator and Big Sweep coordinator.
“You never know what you might find out there. And don't be shocked if you come across a sofa or someone's sleeping bag in the creek.”
The nine cleanup locations around the county included three in southern Mecklenburg: McMullen and Lower McAlpine Creek Greenway, off Pineville-Matthews Road; Walker Branch Greenway, which runs behind RiverGate shopping center near N.C. 49 and N.C. 160; and Campbell Creek Greenway off Margaret Wallace Road.
Volunteers hauled away a total of 16,200 pounds of trash. That included 55 tires, two bicycles, a go-cart and two wicker chairs. Oliverio was out at McMullen when volunteers found the rollout trash bins – possibly washed out of people's yards during the September heavy rains and flooding.
Oliverio said next year's cleanup may include a newbie: the Four Mile Creek Greenway between Rea Road and Johnston Road, which celebrated its grand opening this weekend.