LOS ANGELES (CBSLA)  —  Volunteers mobilized along the LA River Saturday to clean the waterway of trash and debris.

As CBS2’s Joy Benedict reports the volunteers with Friends of the LA River found things they never expected to lay their eyes on.

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“We found a shopping cart,” said Andre Niemczyk

The cart had been there a while. It was rusty and littering the river.

“To see the amount of trash and see the impact it has on the wildlife, it really breaks my heart,” says volunteer Maddy Part.

She was one of the many volunteers who lent their time today — the way volunteers have been doing for 30 years for the Great LA River Cleanup.

And every year they come and fill the trash bags — lot of them.

Volunteers found everything from small pieces of plastic to what looked like an old mattress.

Anthony Miranda. 6. explained why he was a volunteer.

“So it can be a healthy planet,” he says.

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Good answer. But Benedict discovered some of the best answers came from the littlest volunteers.

“So all the animals can live and drink good water,” says Miranda.

The Friends of the LA River say just picking up the trash isn’t enough — they want more.

“Our job isn’t done until some of this concrete is torn up and the river is more wild and scenic and ecologically rich — and equitably accessible river,” says Marissa Christiansen of Friends.

This isn’t the only day folks are getting their hands dirty. In fact, The Great River Cleanup also goes for the next two Saturdays with a total of around 10,000 volunteers taking part.

“I’ve been doing this for the last three years and it’s just a lot of fun watching where it starts and how it finishes,” says Niemczyk.

Miranda had a simple plan to keep the river clean.

“Stop throwing stuff out of your car!” he said. Trash and garbage he explained were supposed to go “in the trash can.”

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If people did that, maybe none of these volunteers would have to come back to clean the river.