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Volunteers spend day cleaning up trash at Lake Belton

Posted at 10:49 AM, Sep 17, 2023

LAKE BELTON, Texas — For years volunteers have been coming to Lake Belton to pick up trash and debris, but the ongoing drought has brought all sorts of things to the surface.

Four years ago when this event started volunteers picked up around 2,500 pounds of trash. Now there are 40 feet dumpsters, and they’re filling them with things like cans, bottles and propellers.

‘Lake Belton Trash Getters’ are finding all sorts of things as they volunteered for cleanup day at Belton Lake. One woman even finding an old American flag.

“My plans are to take it home, carefully wash it, then find out somewhere that can display it or have it cared for,” said Joyce Eckdale.

The recent heat and extreme drought have also uncovered more places to clean.

“With the historical low levels a lot more trash has appeared, “ said Terri Swanson.

Hastin Kelly spent his Saturday volunteering at the lake, but the amount of garbage shocked him.

“Lake's just so dirty, and it just needs to get cleaned. I don’t want anyone hurting themselves or anything like that,” Kelly said.

Swanson said she and friends started the initiative with a passion to clean the places they love to visit.

“I get emotional, but watching everybody coming together, and I mean every dollar is going to the community,” Swanson said.

But all the trash doesn’t go to waste.

Swanson said sponsors donated more than $10,000 to a local nonprofit called Slice of Heaven Education Farm, who turn the garbage into something worth taking home.

“All the designs around that, the decorations around here, the kids at the farm made them from trash. So it’s their mission to have sustainable farming,” Swanson said.

And a mission to clean up our community for a better environment.

“It’s great that people are taking pride in their community, and bringing their kids, and kids are seeing what this looks like,” said Cindy Talkington and Cindy Mask,

Swanson said she plans to hold another cleanup day next year.