Recently I was in Cambodia and saw people dumping their garbage cans into the river along side their homes. This past week I participated in a Rillito River clean-up in Tucson, AZ with Watershed Management Group and I saw first-hand my local community doing the same with its trash. Maybe not to the large scale as other places, but why?
Often I request no plastic straws, no plastic bags and think about less packaging on products since I want to cut waste going into our landfill. But it was mind-boggling to see the items in the riverbed! Plastic straws, truck and bicycle tires, plastic bottles, cans, dog poop in plastic bags, blankets, shoes, clothing, and foam drink cups!
If I saw one more foam cup I was about to scream! Why? Because if I could grab a cup without it breaking apart I was thrilled; if it broke apart it was in smaller pieces that were time-consuming to pick up. I saw so many small plastic pieces … of various plastic products that will simply float down river … but why are any of these things in the river!
Four hours of volunteer time from 20 people to clean up an area of the Rillito River west of 1st Avenue. Lots of trash collected. Please throw your trash in a garbage or recycling bin, not our river! Thank you volunteers for your time and energy at this project!
Final note: later in the day I turn on the television and what commercial do I see! Circle K and the Polar Pop cup! Can something be done about those cups, or people not throwing them into the river … oh how I hated picking up all the cup pieces!