100 bags of trash, shopping carts, tires, bikes and more pulled from Little Hunting Creek

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Some 35 volunteers collected more than 3,000 pounds of trash at State Sen. Scott Surovell’s annual Little Huntington Creek cleanup on Saturday, the senator said Tuesday in a press release.

The cleanup, which is now in its ninth year, was held at three sites in the Hybla Valley area: the Janna Lee Avenue bridge, the Audubon Estates mobile home park and at the Mount Vernon Plaza shopping center behind the Shoppers.

Four shopping carts, three tires and 10 bicycles were pulled from the creek
in addition to the plastic bottles, fast-food containers and other small pieces of garbage.

Surovell partnered with Del. Paul Krizek and the Friends of Little Hunting Creek for the cleanup. Volunteers from Mount Vernon High School, West Potomac High School, Sandburg Middle School and other parts of Northern Virginia all chipped in, Surovell said.

“I am grateful for the many volunteers that gave up their Saturday to help clean up their community,” Surovell said. “Little Hunting Creek is still full of trash, but if we can remove a ton of trash one weekend, that’s a ton of trash that does not make it to the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.”

As in previous years, Surovell was critical of local retailers afterward, calling out Walmart, Aldi and Costco by name for what he says is their “lack of interest” in helping curb the creek’s chronic litter problem.

“U.S. 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, noting that Walmart’s and Aldi’s cart control systems didn’t stop more carts from ending up the stream.

He also blasted Costco for not implementing a cart control system after before the Hybla Valley store opened.

“I also warned Costco about this problem before they built their store and asked them to install an electronic cart control system after Fairfax County refused to mandate it through a proffer and they refused, insisting that they had different customers than Wal-Mart,” Surovell said.

Surovell credited Robert O’Hanlon’s Tree Service for helping pull the carts from the stream. More than 250 have been pulled from the Little Hunting Creek since Surovell’s cleanups began, he said.

“The shopping carts are especially disappointing given that I have repeatedly brought this issue to retailer’s attention and Wal-Mart went through the effort of installing a cart control system,” Surovell said in the release. “Unfortunately, the recovered carts were not equipped to function with their control system.”

Other large items pulled from the creek on Saturday included:

  • Four shopping carts
  • 10 bicycles and one tricycle
  • Three tires
  • Two children’s vehicles
  • One snow shovel
  • One katana (sword)
  • One baby stroller
  • A baby pool
  • One flatscreen television
  • Three computer monitors
  • One guardrail
  • A grill


  1. Martin Tillett