Volunteer group picks up 1000’s of kilos of trash in south Columbus


After collecting more than 130 tires in the Scioto River two years ago, Michael Chapman and Ted Davis formed a volunteer group to keep Columbus clean.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Since early 2021, a Columbus volunteer group has picked up more than 6,000 pounds of trash along streets, streams, and abandoned homes.

Michael Chapman, one of the founders of Clear Creeks and Byways, said he has wanted to form a group for a while to clean up Columbus.

But a kayak trip two and a half years ago from Big Walnut Creek to the Scioto River in Pickaway County with Ted Davis, the group’s other founder, really got Chapman to make his idea a reality.

“We just started counting tires on the way. It was like, ‘Hey, there are about four or five tires.’ Let’s just count them and see what we do, “said Chapman.

At the end of an 11-mile stretch, Chapman said the two had collected over 130 tires.

During a small roadside cleanup in January along Williams Road on the south side of Columbus, Davis encouraged Chapman to get back on social media to get the group up and running.

Since then the Clear Creeks and Byways Facebook group has grown to almost 400 members.

Chapman said the group cleaned up about 3,200 pounds of roadside trash on Saturday, including auto parts, beer bottles and other recyclables.

After cleaning an abandoned house on Corr Road where someone had dumped concrete, Chapman said the group had raised more than £ 6,000 on the south side of Columbus since March.

This does not apply to tires, sofas, mattresses and other large items found along the way. Chapman says he’s reaching for the city Keep Columbus beautiful Campaign to pick up the larger items.

As the group has grown, Chapman said he applied to become a nonprofit so he could keep growing it and recycle more of the junk that is ingested.

“It would be a dream in the future to employ other people to separate and recycle this stuff because it can be hours and days of work,” said Chapman.

As an avid nature lover, Chapman wants to focus on streams this summer. Chapman says he’s working with Trapper John’s Canoe Paint in Grove City to help along the Creekbanks.

Clear Creeks and Byways have taken over the area near South High Street and Williams Road to clean up three times a year in addition to other small streets they cleaned.

You can find out more about the group on their Facebook page Here.

CONNECTED: ODOT’s # 1 task at the moment? To collect rubbish