8th Annual Winooski River Cleanup with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

8th Annual Winooski River Cleanup with American Rivers and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Volunteers work together to cleanup the Winooski River, VT | Lynsey Knowles

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s (GMCR) 8th Annual Winooski River Cleanup as part of National River Cleanup®.  The five day river cleanup was attended by 240 employees in Waterbury, Vermont as part of Community Action For Employees otherwise known as their CAFE program. 

This program encourages volunteer participation by allowing employees to use up to 52 hours on volunteer projects of their choosing during their regular shift without losing any wages.

This cleanup is extra special for many reasons.  Volunteers traveled from GMCR locations all over Vermont to participate in this cleanup.  From day one through day five, employees were eager jump out of their boats and into the river and remove tires, tires and more tires!  The cleanup spanned 3 river miles and together we removed 982 tires from the river bed and banks. 

A few highlights (aside from the tires) included:

  • Computer from 1982
  • Beer keg
  • Toy train
  • Shopping carts, lots and lots of them…

I was thrilled to participate in the employee river cleanup.  This was my first trip to Vermont and I was warmly welcomed into the community GMCR had built with one another and throughout Vermont.  Employees shared stories of memories on the Winooski River and the challenges they personally faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and the spring floods.  The debris we collected last week is a reminder that the river is still recovering as are many communities throughout Vermont.


Here is a clip about the ongoing recovery efforts in Waterbury, Vermont and much of the Northeast – one year after Hurricane Irene: