Thursday, April 03, 2014

Clean Water and Recycling--The Connection

There's a stream cleanup along the canal this Saturday, April 5, from 1-3pm, meeting at Turning Basin Park off Alexander Street. The cleanup is organized by the Stonybrook-Millstone Watershed Association. It makes for a good family outing.

Though picking up trash doesn't necessarily improve water quality (discarded oil cans and batteries being exceptions), it does improve appearance and reduces the amount of plastic that becomes problematic as it breaks down and gets inadvertently consumed by wildlife.

Most of the littering is likely accidental, as trashcans spill or bottles fall out of the small, uncovered green and yellow recycling buckets Princeton residents have used for many years. Many communities use rollout bins that have greater capacity and lids that reduce the risk of recyclables spilling during the collection process.

Whoever originally bought this shamrock-like bow had no idea it would later be poised to slip down into the stormwater system and join all the other plastic down along the canal, on its way down the Millstone River, then out to the ocean to make life a little more dangerous for aquatic life.

Two other posts about the connection between recycling and water quality can be found at this link.

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