- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Volunteers have been cleaning up trash and junk from the base of a scenic Arizona waterfall, hauling away dozens of garbage bags full of refuse that included a refrigerator door and tires.

More than 80 volunteers took to the muddy waters of the Little Colorado River over the past two weekends, the Arizona Daily Sun reported (https://bit.ly/2ngCWOk).

As warm temperatures melt snow in northern Arizona, the river is once again flowing over Grand Falls, threatening to take debris that has collected there on to the Colorado River.

“Mankind will be remembered geologically by the new layer of plastic and trash that is slowly developing,” said Haley Johnson, a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park who helped organize the March 4 cleanup effort. “We witnessed this firsthand when we kayaked to the waterfall.”

Johnson described using an inflatable kayak to collect “bags upon bags” of debris and trash from behind the falls. She said multiple tires were floating in an island of garbage, as well as ice chest lids, barrels and a propane tank.

The trash collects in the river as it heads from headwaters in the White Mountains through Holbrook and Winslow and then across part of Navajo Nation before heading over the falls.

Kim Murdza, who helped organize the event, said lots of people showed up to haul out the trash, which included a refrigerator door, plastic alcohol containers, prescription medication bottles, Styrofoam chunks, discarded tires and other trash.

“The interest was fast and vast, which was great,” Murdza said. “People felt good about doing something local.”

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Information from: Arizona Daily Sun, https://www.azdailysun.com/

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