John Deere helping to clean up garbage in Ohio

Thanks to a John Deere 210G LC Excavator and Chad Pregracke and Living Lands & Waters, more than 1 million pounds of garbage is expected to be removed from the Ohio River by December 2015.

John Deere is a longtime supporter of Living Lands & Waters. This year the company's construction and forestry division partnered with Pierce Pacific Manufacturing and Erb Equipment Company to design an excavator to specifically meet Pregracke's heavy-duty clean-up demands.

Living Lands & Waters has been working in the Ohio River since 2001 relying heavily on volunteer labor – as it does for all its river cleanup projects – to remove everything from plastic bags to automobiles.

But according to Pregracke, they didn't seem to make a dent, and that frustrated him.

"I decided we needed to bring in some equipment to make this go faster," Pregracke said.

John Deere has supported Living Lands & Waters through financial contributions, equipment donations and employee volunteering since its founding. The excavator is the largest single donation the company has made to the organization.

"The work that Chad Pregracke does through Living Lands & Waters is nothing short of inspirational," Mara Downing, a spokeswoman for John Deere, said. "We commend Chad and his organization for their dedication to improving the quality of life of those who depend upon our nation's rivers and watersheds."