The old saying that “many hands make light work” was proven yet again at Raritan Headwaters Association’s annual Stream Cleanup on April 23, as 1,000 volunteers removed nearly 11 tons of trash and recyclables from dozens of sites in Hunterdon, Somerset, and Morris counties.

“It’s amazing what our dedicated and energetic volunteers can accomplish in just one morning,” said Cindy Ehrenclou, Executive Director of the nonprofit watershed watchdog. “We thank them all so much for making the Upper Raritan River watershed a cleaner place, and for helping to protect downstream communities and wildlife.”

Zak Kircher, RHA’s Stream Cleanup coordinator, said about 50 miles of waterfront along streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs within the watershed were spruced up and cleared of harmful trash and debris. Volunteers filled 650 trash bags and 330 recycling bags with a variety of items, mostly plastics.

Other trash included car parts, roof shingles, diapers, pieces of a tree house, a plastic toy chain saw, a toy shovel, and an assortment of balls used in various sports.

Stream Cleanup volunteers included individuals, families, Scout troops, churches, businesses, civic organizations, schools, and municipal leaders.

One notable volunteer this year was Congressman Tom Malinowski, D-7, who picked up trash with a group in Raritan Township, Hunterdon County.

“I’m inspired by the dedication of so many volunteers in our district to protect New Jersey’s beautiful waterways and open spaces,” said Malinowski. “My team and I were happy to lend a hand in this year’s stream cleanup alongside the Raritan Headwaters Association, and I look forward to the work we are going to keep doing together.” Malinowski’s district includes all of Hunterdon County and parts of Somerset, Morris, Warren, Union, and Essex.

To learn more about Raritan Headwaters and its programs, visit or call (908) 234-1852.