Ohio River cleanup includes Glenfield, Leetsdale

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | 5:45 PM

Curtis Reiner doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty.

The Glenfield resident does it because he wants to keep the banks of the Ohio River clean for the community’s sake and he does it because his home abuts the river.

“I can go fishing when I get home from work,” said Reiner, who also is vice president of the Glenfield Borough Council.

On June 16 from 8 a.m. until noon at the Kilbuck Township Fish and Boat Commission Ramp on East Beaver Street in Glenfield, Reiner will be supervising a group of people who are donating their time to clean up the riverbank.

A separate riverbank cleanup also will be held June 16 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Leetsdale Boat Ramp that is located at the end of Petrun Road, near the Leetsdale Industrial Park.

Leetsdale Mayor Pete Poninsky said the cleanup of the riverbank is important to the community especially given the fact the boat launch will be upgraded in the next year or so.

“And our boat launch gets used quite a bit,” he said.

Both events are part of a larger cleanup effort along the 3,000-mile-long Ohio River — and its tributaries — that stretches from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Ill., where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi River. The national clean-up effort is coordinated by the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission, a Cincinnati-based organization that works to abate pollution along the river.

Volunteers are welcome, Reiner said.

“All people have to do is wear old clothes and sign a waiver,” Reiner said. This year will be the 10th year for Reiner’s involvement in clean-up efforts.

Volunteers will be given gloves and bags, he said. A local sanitation company will donate a Dumpster for the trash that is collected.

Nationwide, there are 175 cleanup sites in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. Around 500 tons or 100,000 pounds of trash is collected each year.

“With the high water this year, there is going to be a lot of debris,” he said.

The most common item found along the riverbank is car parts.

“We also typically collect 10 to 15 tires,” he said.

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at selliott@tribweb.com, 412-627-9423, or via Twitter at @41Suzanne.