- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

PEARISBURG, Va. (AP) - Volunteers have removed tons of trash from the New River in Giles County over the years. Soon, some of that trash will be reborn as art.

Volunteers plan to create sculptures from tires, plastic bags and other trash collected from the river.

“Someone had the brilliant idea of having a sculpture project and making sculpture from the litter,” Ann Goette, a member of Renew the New, told WDBJ-TV (https://bit.ly/17Aop7s ). The organization is dedicated to keeping the river clean.

Goett said the venture is a first for the volunteers.

“We’ve made an art of collecting trash but not using the trash itself,” she said.

A local government challenge grant made the project possible, Pearisburg Town Manager Ken Vittum said,

“I’m not an artist and I have no idea what it’s going to end up looking like and I think that my initial reaction was, ‘You’re going to take this trash and turn it into art? OK,’ Ha Ha!” Vittum said.

Trash collected from the river normally is thrown away. Beginning in March 2014, volunteers set aside some of the trash for the sculpture project.

“For many years, it’s sad to say, the river was the trash dump. Each town had a little trash dump along the river. That’s no longer in place now,” Paul Moody, another volunteer, said.

Moody said he is a river lover but not an artist.

“I just love being around the river and don’t have a whole lot of artistic talent at all,” he said.

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Information from: WDBJ-TV, https://www.wdbj7.com/

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