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Renew Our Rivers program sets record with help from volunteers and Alabama Power; 8.5 million pounds of trash removed


Piles of trash, mounds of tires, refrigerators, sofas and the like are among the items more than 10,000 volunteers from all over the Southeast have removed from local rivers in the Alabama Power Renew Our Rivers cleanup program. The program continues to reach milestones and now totals 8.5 million pounds of debris and trash removed from area waterways due to the efforts of volunteers and company employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

In Alabama this year, a record setting 379 tons of trash was collected with assistance from 5,300 volunteers at 26 cleanups.

Renew Our Rivers began in 2000 in Gadsden and continues to make an impact by changing the appearance of rivers and shorelines with assistance from community organizations, schools and employees. The theme for the national award-winning project for 2008 is Our Cause is Noble - Our Efforts are Local.

“What started as one Alabama Power employee picking up trash on his lunch break has turned into a nationally recognized movement,” said Alabama Power President and CEO Charles McCrary. “Renew Our Rivers has been successful because of the support of thousands of community volunteers. It is my hope that many others will join this effort and protect our valuable resources.”

Visitors can get a glimpse of the type of items pulled from area rivers by touring the new Renew Our Rivers exhibit at the Alabama Power Water Course in Clanton. The exhibit features a new trash-muncher video game where participants compete to see who collects the most trash as well as other displays and interesting water and recycling facts.

“This success of this program has been that it has had one vision, one goal and one mission,” said Willard Bowers, vice president of Environmental Affairs at Alabama Power. “It takes one volunteer to make a difference but 10,000 have made a significant impact in the Renew Our Rivers project.”

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), owns and operates 14 hydroelectric generating plants in Alabama, providing clean, low-cost electricity. The facilities also provide more than 157,000 acres of water and more than 4,000 miles of shoreline for the public’s use and enjoyment.


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