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The Ontario Women Anglers organization completed a major cleanup along the Speed ​​River in Hespeler this past weekend.

The group filled eight garbage bags in two and a half hours, finding things along the river shoreline like needles, broken bottles, and metal.

A volunteer with the group said it took 20 minutes for one member to clean the area she was standing in because there was so much garbage.

“20 minutes standing still, picking up. Didn’t go anywhere, stood still, just bent over and picked up,” said Anglers member Catherine Bodden. “I think the thing that was overwhelming for myself was how many needles we found, how many pop bottles full of gasoline.”

The group said they’ve noticed a decline in the quality of fishing in the river caused by pollution. Members often catch garbage in the water instead of fish. They have also noticed a decline in the quality of the aquatic animals.

Members of the organization in other Ontario cities also cleaned along waterways in their respective areas.

The organization plans to do another clean next Saturday and make it an annual event.

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