Project AWARE 2018: 14 Tons of Recycled Fun!

What began as a one-time AWWA volunteer activity has turned into an annual outing with family and friends. In 2010, Taylor Hopper was asked to organize an Iowa AWWA group for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) annual Project AWARE river clean up. After two days on the Nishnabotna River in southwest Iowa Taylor had decided this was something he would try again, and the Iowa Water Environment Association (IAWEA) joined the effort in 2011.

IAWEA and AWWA member Rick Hopper (second from left) poses with some hard-earned garbage

Project AWARE is much more than a river cleanup; it’s a wonderful community of volunteers from Iowa and around the country.

This “canoe-maran” is transporting one of several very heavy pieces found downstream of Lake Delhi

This community has some great stats this year!

  • Total Materials Collected – 41,550 lbs. (20.78 tons)
    • Trash – 12,940 lbs. (6.47 tons) (31%)
    • Recyclables 28,610 lbs. (14.31 Tons) (69%)
      • Tires (224) – 3,680 lbs. (1.84 tons)
      • Scrap Metal – 22,550 lbs. (11.27 tons)
      • “Dirty” Plastic – 1,940 lbs. (0.97 tons)
      • Glass – 440 lbs. (0.22 tons)
  • Total Volunteers – 397, ranging in age from 3-76 years old.
    • 73 – under age 18
    • 97 – ages 18-30
    • 132 – ages 31-60
    • 76 – ages 61-70
    • 15 – ages 71-76

Taylor Hopper (second from left) checks out some fellow volunteers’ haul of garbage

The location and date for next year’s cleanup are expected to be selected this winter. If you are interested in joining the fun or discovering a little more about the activity, please contact Taylor Hopper at 515-233-0000 or More information is also available at:

Project Aware in the News

Large pieces of a boat lift required the assembly of yet another “canoe-maran”

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