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Dumpster Finally Removed From Grand River [Video]

This spring brought historic flooding to West Michigan.

A very visible reminder of that flooding was removed from the Grand River on Monday as two men took it upon themselves to clean up the Grand River.

Keith Brown and Wade Baumgardner removed a two ton dumpster from the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids on Monday.

The dumpster floated down from Riverside Park during the flood.

The City of Grand Rapids had been considering the best way to remove the dumpster.  Last month, reported on two ideas city officials had:

The first was to use a 300,000-pound crane to lift it out, but (Grand Rapids Public Service Director James) Hurt said the crane is too heavy for the Bridge Street Bridge.

The second and most viable plan, (Grand Rapids Deputy City Manager Eric) DeLong said, is to send personnel in a boat, and then hook a cable to the Dumpster and drag it to shore. But they can’t do that until the river current, which is still strong as a result of the floods and recent rains, slows.

Leave it to a couple of regular guys to get it done.

Brown and Baumgardner are very familiar with the Grand River.  They gathered and recycled tons of steel from the river last year. explains how they did it:

The two men say they grew up fishing and swimming in the river so they know it’s secrets. “We know every hole,” says Brown. “We have fished every hole.”

They used a bucket to bail out the water in the dumpster, and then, once it was floating, they wrestled and steered it about a quarter mile down river onto rocks by the Ford Presidential Museum.

“I tell you, it isn’t like steering a boat,” laughs Baumgardner. “You use muscles you didn’t know you had.”

Once they did the hard part, a wrecker with a boom picked up the container and took it away.

Love to see people take pride in Grand Rapids and the Grand River!

Thank you Keith Brown and Wade Baumgardner!

Follow Matt Milhouse on Facebook and Twitter.  Listen weekdays, 10:00am – 3:00pm.

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