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7,268 Pounds of Tires, Coconuts and Voodoo Dolls

While many residents of New Jersey slept the morning of April 28, more than 115 volunteers, armed with garden gloves, trash bags and bug spray trekked through the bushes along the Cooper River in Pennsauken. These volunteers were on a mission: to remove trash from the area to help protect New Jersey’s water ways.

The Cooper River Cleanup, sponsored by United by Blue and Subaru, is only one of many organized cleanups aimed at helping to rid the New Jersey waterways of trash and pollution. New Jersey American Water employees, their family members, and volunteers from the area began gathering bottles, bags and rotting food from the morning until early afternoon. The dedicated volunteers filled hundreds of garbage bags amounting to 7,268 pounds of trash removed from the area. Some of the more interesting items found in the park included television sets, tires, even a voodoo doll and a coconut.

“It was great to see the enormous impact these volunteers could have in just a few hours and I am very proud of the work we were able to accomplish,” said John Eppensteiner, water quality specialist for New Jersey American Water. “Events such as a river clean up not only benefit our local communities, but also demonstrates an appreciation of water as a valuable resource.”

United by Blue, a Philadelphia based clothing company, has hosted over 70 clean ups since the company’s creating in May of 2010. Their goal is to clean up one pound of trash from the world’s waterways for every pieces of sustainable clothing or accessory sold. The company has recently partnered with Subaru and will host three additional Subaru cleanups this summer with the next one taking place in DC this summer.

New Jersey American Water’s Team Green, an employee run organization, is planning to participate in many more of these events in the future. “The goal of Team Green is to not only change the way we do business internally by focusing on green initiatives,” said Eppensteiner, also a Team Green member, “but to also help the communities we serve. These clean ups show our customers that we are truly focused on making their lives better.”

For photos of the event, visit New Jersey American Water on Facebook at

New Jersey American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found at


New Jersey American Water
Jillian Reilly, 856-782-2343

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