Have you heard of the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-Up? (http://shorelinecleanup.ca/)
Its an amazing organization that encourages you to clean up local waterways. We always do a community clean up in the fall but this year we thought we would focus on a shoreline and decided to clean up a nearby creek.
A few years ago we purchased 20 sets of BBQ tongs at our local dollar store. We've found that they are perfect for picking up trash (girls don't actually have to touch any garbage) and when you're done you can just pop them all in the dishwasher for a quick clean. Here are some photos of our clean up.