Now that flood waters are receding, one nonprofit is focusing its efforts on cleaning up. Missouri River Relief is leading river cleanups from St. Louis to Yankton, South Dakota. Volunteers are picking up tires, fuel tanks, pieces of docks and cabins and more.

The group says this is the perfect time of year to get people on the river to cleanup, experience the river first-hand, and learn about the environment.

Volunteers are out on the Missouri River to clean up what the flood has left behind. Program Director Steve Schnarr says planning events is always a gamble, but fall is typically ideal.

And he says every year … dumping is a problem.

Schnarr says people don’t consider that the Missouri is fed by many tributaries, and the watershed is one sixth of the landmass of the continental U.S. He says a lot of dumping eventually ends up in the Missouri.

The group is using a barge to load the trash to be hauled off; they’re recycling anything they can.

One interesting find the group comes across every year are messages in bottles, many that are likely several years old and have come from many miles away.

He says with so many tributaries, the Missouri River watershed makes up one sixth of the continental U.S., a much larger area than most expect. He says that’s one reason why so much trash ends up there.