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Tuck River Cleanup makes a transition to ongoing individual efforts

To adhere to pandemic protocols and still achieve local litter removal goals, organizers of Western Carolina University’s Tuck River Cleanup have decided to sponsor individual-based efforts and not confine activities to a single day on the Tuckaseigee River.

Considered among the nation’s largest single-day efforts to remove garbage from a waterway, the cleanup had been scheduled for April 18 but was postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions. There had been hopes of rescheduling to sometime in August, following the start of the fall semester. But health considerations for mass gatherings had organizers drop those plans as well.

“A litter cleanup can’t be held virtually,” said Kay Tufts, assistant director of WCU Outdoor Programs. “We want to keep the spirit of the Tuck River Cleanup going and this opens things up for participation during the new normal. No pre-registration is necessary and individuals or small groups can get involved.”

To Participate: 

  • Through Friday, Nov. 20, pick up trash at any outdoor location, such as parks, neighborhoods, rivers, lakes, parking lots or even sidewalks. If it’s outside, it counts. 
  • Take a selfie on location with trash collected.
  • Stop by the front desk of Campus Recreation Center, 379 Memorial Drive, Mondays or Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Show the trash collection photo to staff and receive a free T-shirt while supplies last. 


  • Follow pandemic guidelines, including masks, physical distancing, groups of 10 or less, and use hand sanitizer.
  • Follow trash pickup guidelines, so don’t touch needles or sharp objects, don’t lift heavy items, wear gloves and watch traffic.
  • Make sure all trash goes into a proper receptacle. Do not leave trash bags on roadsides, parking lots or trails. 

For more information on Tuck River Cleanup 2020, go to  

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