More than 27,000 pounds of mixed waste removed from San Antonio River

Cleanup workers are struggling to remove mountains of floating debris.

SAN ANTONIO – As the region braces for the possibility of rain Thursday night, many remember last week’s major storm that forced mountains of garbage out of the sewage system and into the San Antonio River.

Despite a push from the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) and a private contractor, much of the chaos remains.

A cleanup is underway, but officials say it could get worse before it gets better.

A SARA spokesman said staff members and contractors would monitor the weather and, if conditions permit, work throughout the weekend to try and make up the tons of rubbish left behind by the latter rain.

MOREOVER: San Antonio River engulfed by floating debris

By the numbers, SARA reports that more than 27,000 pounds of mixed waste and straw have been removed since April 20.

River lover Sixta Garcia was at the Espada Dam lookout Thursday morning, taking a break from her studies. She said she loves the peace and quiet she finds in the park, but she is concerned about the wildlife struggling to cope with the man-made chaos.

Garcia said, “It breaks my heart to see the wildlife maneuvering around it, or they could get trapped.”

The people in charge of cleaning say we are all to blame.

Steve Graham of the San Antonio River Authority said, “We know from talking to people in polls that people say, ‘No, that litter box isn’t mine. It’s someone else’s’, but we all probably contribute to it, no matter where we live in the city. It goes straight into our rivers and streams.”

One trail user summed up the challenge perfectly.

He said, “We can’t even get people to use turn signals! They won’t stop littering!”

Garcia agreed, saying, “You’re driving and people are like, ‘Oops, there you go. Throw him out.’ Is not beautiful. I think it has to stop!”

Graham said that while they work hard to help the ecosystem recover, stopping waste at its source is still a smarter idea.

SARA has a volunteer corps of people who enjoy helping improve the river.

They call the program the River Warriors and you can explore their website Here.

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