What kind of person tosses a kitchen stove into a river?
Or a hot water heater?
How about one-quarter of a Plymouth?
On the flip side, what kind of a person volunteers to hop into a canoe and drag the above items out of the water, along with, literally, truckloads of all kinds of other trash imaginable?
The answer to both questions is pretty obvious.
"It absolutely tells you that humans can be really gross," said Piper Lindell on Thursday after a long day on the Allegheny River.
Lindell, who owns a canoe livery in Warren and another on Rt. 62 near Tidioute, is the driving force behind a five-day, 31-mile cleanup of the Allegheny River that began on Tuesday.
"But on the flip side," Lindell said, "it's just cool to see these people volunteering to be out here. You really get to see both sides of (human behavior) doing this."
Lindell and her volunteers from a number of organizations have pulled an amazing variety of items from the Allegheny River since Tuesday.
On Wednesday, 41 volunteers, using 18 canoes and three jet boats, removed the following from the river between Betts Park and the Buckaloons: 51 tires, 2 large tractor tires, a refrigerator, a television, an air conditioner, a water heater, one-quarter of a car, 1 car battery, 3 plastic 55-gallon drums, 2 carpets, 1 desk, 7 chairs, 16 bags of recyclable cans and bottles, 29 bags of garbage, 100 feet of metal pipe, 50 feet of plastic pipe, 3 metal grates, 1 deck post, 5 shirts, 9 shoes, 6 bait containers, 1 street sign, 1 truck bed liner, 1 muffler, 1 bench, 1 gutter, 2 bicycles, 1 shopping cart, 10 toys, 2 fishing lures, 1 boat, 1 anchor, 1 5x5 piece of metal sheeting, 4 gasoline cans, 1 nine-until electric meter, 1 toilet seat, 2 drainage pipes, 1 oil absorption boom and a massive amount of glass.
Notable items fished from the river on Tuesday included 3 aluminum lawn chairs, couch springs, a pogo stick, 6 mufflers and a large blinking arrow sign.
"It's just crazy the stuff we've been bringing off this river," Lindell said. "People are just pulling stuff out left and right. When you're floating leisurely down the Allegheny, you don't see all of this stuff. I can't wait to see what the final tally is."
With two days to go, the cleanup is scheduled to wrap up at the bridge in Tidioute on Saturday afternoon. Lindell said that plans are already underway to make the river cleanup an annual event.
"Oh, yeah, it will be every year now," Lindell said, "but I don't think we'll see as many big ticket items down the road. At least I hope not."