Surovell’s creek cleanup nets shopping carts, tires, bikes and merry-go-round

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Volunteers pulled nearly 1,800 pounds of garbage out of Little Hunting Creek during State Sen. Scott Surovell’s annual cleanup event last Saturday, the senator announced in a press release today. 

More than 45 volunteers, including students from West Potomac, Mount Vernon, Carl Sandburg, Waynewood and Fort Hunt, as well as teachers from Walt Whitman, worked with members of Friends of Little Hunting Creek and the Alice Ferguson Foundation to cleanup sections of the creek in the Hybla Valley area. A dozen shopping carts, eight bikes, seven car tires and three chairs were among the larger pieces of litter removed from the creek, Surovell said. 

The  shopping carts, which Surovell said came from Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond and PetSmart, had combined with with other large items to create a buildup of trash that impeded the flow of water. Shopping carts from the various retailers in Hybla Valley end up in Little Hunting Creek every year, and Surovell — who tried passing legislation in 2013 to hold stores accountable for their shopping carts — said local retailers need to take responsibility for litter that originates at their stores. 

“I am disappointed Route 1’s retailers continue to show a lack of interest in controlling shopping cart removal, minimizing plastic bag consumption, or disposable containers in the corridor,” Surovell said. “We are also continuing to raise awareness about the Lee District trash and litter problem in Hybla Valley.  If we continue this message, we will hopefully eventually see a reduction in plastic bottle, bag and overall waste in our streams.”

Also pulled from near the creek: An old merry-go-round that Surovell said belonged to local apartment complex. It’s been a two-year project to cut up and break down the piece playground equipment, Surovell said, and he credited the owner of a local tree service for helping dispose of it.

“After two years of work, Robert O’Hanlon and his crew were also successful in removing a large, steel merry-go-round that was disposed in the woods by Stony Brook Apartments on Buckman Road,” Surovell said. “By using a blow torch, O’Hanlon and his team were able to slice up the 500-pound metal merry-go-round and dispose of it piece-by-piece. Last year, O’Hanlon and his team removed a 600-pound metal play set from the same location. Stony Brook has refused to take responsibility for the issue.”

The Stony Brook apartments, located at 3426 Buckman Road, are owned by a group called Buckman Road Development LLC. The complex is managed by Edgewood Management. 

The full rundown of items removed during the cleanup:

  • 12 Shopping Carts
  • Eight Bikes
  • Seven car tires
  • Three Trash Cans
  • Three Chairs
  • Two Doors
  • One Mattress
  • One Merry-go-round
  • Three dozen basketball and soccer balls
  • Two Child’s Car Seats
  • One Broken Crutch
  • One Kiddie Pool
  • One Washing Machine
  • One Toy Car
  • One Tool Chest
  • One CD Rack
  • One Kitchen Knife
  • Portable Safe
  • Nerf Guns