Posted - 15 May 2017

Second Annual Trash Cleanup to be used in Study

Our Portland, Maine team spent a day cleaning up the Long Creek Watershed, and will study the trash collected to improve the way we treat stormwater.

In a second annual cleanup of the Long Creek Watershed in Southern Maine, we partnered with the Long Creek Watershed Management District, the City of South Portland’s Stormwater Management Program and this year, welcomed University of Southern Maine student volunteers to the effort as well.

Senior Product Development Engineer Jeremy Fink will again oversee this year’s study, which should be completed in the coming month. The study directly affects the work that Fink and the Product Development team do since understanding trash volumes, sizes and material types can inform the design of future trash screening designs. "Having an intimate understanding of the problem you're trying to solve moves you closer to the solution" says Fink. 

Last year’s cleanup of the Long Creek’s South Branch surrounding the Maine Mall entrance produced 583 lbs (264 kg) of trash while this year yielded 325 lbs (147 kg). Now that we’ve established a baseline we can estimate how much accumulation occurs annually and can start to observe long-term trends in the data.

Trash on land inevitably maks its way into drainage lines where it can clog and cause upstream flooding and/or continue on into waterways where it can harm aquatic ecosystems. Knowing what goes in can help us be smarter about how to keep it out.  

Here's what we found: 2017 Trash Study

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