Masaya's Interesting Trash Findings in our AWS "Field Office"


"I need a desk chair.  Can someone throw one away for me please?"

AWS staff and energetic summer interns have been sorting out trash into 47 categories in this sweltering summer. The trash was captured by the AWS trash trap installed in Nash Run thanks to a grant from District Department of the Environment (DDOE). After the detailed sorting, the trash was bagged in clear plastic bags into 4 major categories: bottles and cans, plastic cups, Styrofoam, and others, to understand trash characteristics by volume. The bags were stacked up and photo-documented. (See the photo below) About 40% of trash is bottles and cans, and about 30% of it is Styrofoam.

“If there are effective bills to reduce bottles, cans, and Styrofoam, such as a Styrofoam ban and a bottle bill, approximately 70% of trash by volume would disappear from streams,” said Masaya Maeda, Water Quality Specialist of the Anacostia Watershed Society.

Special thanks to AWS summer interns Lindsay Johnson, Heyfa Khenissi, My Ngoc Nguyen, Lei Chen, and Damour Williamson, who have never complained about taking on this tedious task in such hot weather.

We often have trash trap cleanup events where volunteers can help with our efforts at Nash Run.  Be sure to check the AWS Calendar and register for the next event.

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