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caption: Kathy Huntsman adds a bottle cap to her trash bag across the street from Gassworks Park. This is her fourth year cleaning up litter after the 4th of July fireworks show.
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Kathy Huntsman adds a bottle cap to her trash bag across the street from Gassworks Park. This is her fourth year cleaning up litter after the 4th of July fireworks show.
Credit: KUOW PHOTO/ Casey Martin

The day after the Fourth of July: a huge, volunteer clean-up

Tens of thousands of people around Seattle enjoyed fireworks Thursday night for Independence Day. Friday just a few dozen were out cleaning up the litter left behind.

Richard Horner and half dozen other volunteers wore light blue shirts and carried large yellow garbage bags. They were stationed right outside the entrance to Gasworks Park, home to one of the biggest Fourth of July parties around.

“This is targeted because it's a trash mecca," Horner said.

A trash mecca because Seafair takes care of all the litter inside the park, but the roads and sidewalks leading to Gasworks got a lot of litter Thursday night.

That’s now left to volunteers like Horner with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.

Kathy Huntsman has been cleaning up after the party for the last four years.

“We find a lot of the pop-its, you know the paper that's leftover," Hunstman said, across the street from Gasworks, "cigarette butts could be brand new or from last year.”

caption: Litter collected by volunteers often contains recyclables like aluminum cans and plastic bottles.
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Litter collected by volunteers often contains recyclables like aluminum cans and plastic bottles.
Credit: KUOW PHOTO/ Casey Martin

And how much trash are they picking up?

“I bet we'll get upwards of 300 pounds today in a couple hours," said Puget Soundkeeper Alliance operations director Julie Angell.

Angell showed six garbage bags packed full less than two hours into Friday morning’s cleanup.

The Alliance also had volunteers in kayaks and have ongoing cleanups later this summer.