Illegally Dumped Trash Piles Up Near Boardman River

“It becomes a historical dump site, it’s like a landfill,” said Norman Fred, chairman of the Boardman River Clean Sweep.

Video you have to see to believe.

This Northern Michigan river is looking like a dump site…leaving eyesores and potentially hazardous materials.

As the snow melts away, trash begins to pile up along waterways, including right here at the Boardman River in Traverse City.

Unfortunately…this isn’t uncommon.

The Boardman River is a beautiful spot in Traverse City, but every year piles of trash are left behind for other people to clean up.

“You’re walking down in this beautiful woods, pure Michigan, and you come upon pure garbage Michigan, and so it’s very discouraging,” said Norman Fred.

Nonprofit groups like the Boardman River Clean Sweep, volunteer and spend hours cleaning up trash that is dumped along the rivers and trails in Northern Michigan.

“We see camping equipment that’s been abandoned, we see bottles and cans, and litter and paper and plastic and we find tires and we find mattresses and we find old sofas and you know you name it, if it’s expensive to get rid of or difficult to get rid of, people bring it and leave it in the woods,” said Norman Fred.

Many say it’s a domino effect…

“One person comes and leaves a little bit and the next person comes and leaves a little bit and after a while it starts to look like this,” said Norman Fred.

Members of the Michigan Canoe Racing Association spend a lot of time practicing along the river. They like to do their part and help with the cleanup process as well.

“It’s really frustrating, it gets worse year in and year out,” said Pete Mead, vice president of the Michigan Canoe Racing Association. “We do a cleanup, about a group of four or five of us twice a year, so we haul out pounds and pounds of garbage.”

“We want it to be clean, we want it to be natural looking and beautiful and we want others to enjoy it but pick up your garbage,” said Amy Solak, member of the Michigan Canoe Racing Association.

If you see someone dumping trash, the Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Office is asking you to call them and report it to the GT Silent Observer at 231-947-TIPS.

If you would like to volunteer your time towards these efforts, visit the Boardman River Clean Sweep’s website.