Saturday, March 28, 2009

The trash revealed by the snowmelt

Back in January, we renewed our commitment to focus on “floatables,” as one of the most preventable—but pervasive—pollution problems affecting our waterways.

The recent snowmelt is a great reminder of just how much trash accumulates in the streets and parking lots in any population center. I snapped a couple of shots on my cell phone camera. Both photos were taken Saturday, March 28, 2009. The first is in the parking lot of a movie theatre, located in a shopping center in Maple Grove. The second shot is in the parking lot of a big-box store in Fridley (about a quarter-mile from the Mississippi River, as the storm sewer flows). Both are the residue that remains after piles of snow, plowed to clear the lot, have melted away. It demonstrates, in one consolidated glance, just how much crud we throw out of our cars when we’re walking out of a theatre or store, or navigating a simple parking lot.

You have seen me assert that every street and storm sewer is a tributary that leads eventually to the Mississippi River. The plastic you see in these pictures will not simply evaporate. It will wait for the rain to wash it into the river… or for an astute store manager or property manager to come and clean it up.

© 2009 Mike D. Anderson, Crystal, MN.

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