Rising to the Sorting Challenge

Rising to the Sorting Challenge
December 9, 2019 by: Maureen Farrington

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Three cheers to our 2019 trash-sorting challengers!  Over the course of 2019, nearly 100 volunteers worked with us on one of our most critical jobs: maintaining and sorting the trash and debris collected at our Trash Traps.

Our work with the trash traps is among the most important duties that the Anacostia Watershed Society performs to ensure that the Anacostia River is on its way to swimmable and fishable.  The data we have collected has led to the plastic bag ban in DC and Montgomery County; the polystyrene (aka styrofoam) ban for food packaging in DC and the entire state of Maryland; and the straw ban in DC and Prince George's Counties.  Little by little our work is making a huge impact on the health of the river by stopping this form of pollution from entering our waterways.

What happens at the trash sorting challenge?  Well, take a look at these wonderful photos from Master Naturalist Amanda Kleinman, who documented our last Nash Run sorting event at the end of November.  Volunteers help carry supplies a short walk to the site, then they dig in to the material cleaned out from the trap and sort it into 13 different categories, ranging from the banned items above, to another constant scourge of the river: plastic drinking bottles. Volunteers then weigh how much is collected for each catagory.  It's fun and rewarding work where volunteers really get to see what a difference their effort makes.

Stay tuned on our calendar or join our email list to see when our next trash sorting event is.

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Masaya greets the volunteers

Maureen Farrington

Maureen Farrington

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