Volunteers remove over 3,000 pounds of trash from Crabtree Creek

Big Sweep volunteer paddles a canoe loaded with trash
A Big Sweep volunteer paddles a canoe loaded with trash.

Wake County Big Sweep celebrated its 35th anniversary with a successful cleanup event, removing a total of 3,260 pounds of trash from Raleigh's Crabtree Creek. Over the weekend, 21 volunteers in kayaks and canoes worked hard to clear out all sorts of litter from Crabtree Creek. Among the items collected were signs, shopping carts, shoes, a microwave and traffic cones, as well as 1,500 pounds of tires amounting to 41 tires in total.

"We are thrilled to mark our 35th anniversary with such an impactful cleanup effort," said Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria. "The dedication of our volunteers and the support of our partners are instrumental in our mission to keep our waterways clean and healthy."

The City of Raleigh Greenway Division ensured that all trash collected was properly disposed of, safeguarding the health of the waterway and its surrounding ecosystem.

Heidelberg Materials, a supporter of Wake County Big Sweep since 2011, has significantly contributed to the program's success. Their recent donation of a custom caged trailer, along with canoes, kayaks, paddles and life vests, ensures the program's sustainability and effectiveness in organizing future cleanups.

Wake County Big Sweep organizes approximately 40 cleanup events each year, engaging volunteers to tackle areas such as creeks, lakes and parks. In 2023 alone, 1,329 volunteers participated in these events, collectively removing an impressive 48,773 pounds of trash from neighborhoods and waterways.

Wake County Big Sweep is a resident volunteer effort. For 35 years, Big Sweep has coordinated cleanups in Wake County focused on watersheds, streams, lakes and wetlands that ultimately lead to the ocean.

For more information about Wake County Big Sweep, upcoming events, and how to join the effort, visit wake.gov/BigSweep.

Press Release