Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bad Garbage

Today’s find, a snow shovel, drifting by Dorothea Dix Park, the dark plastic shovel barely visible in the waves. I placed it to the rear of my boat.

Each year we find and remove four to five bags of garbage from the river. Our goal in particular is to remove plastic, to keep it from joining the Atlantic gyre. Most of the garbage we find is cups and water bottles, which tend to float on top. Plastic bags drift at all levels of the current, and are rarely visible unless you go right by them. If missed, they can be hard to find again.

We’ve found some interesting things, a guitar, a bag, a few notes in bottles, once a dollar bill in a bottle. Once a knapsack, an old military pack. One name was on the bag, the another upon some knee pads. In the bag were a water bottle, an energy bar, a shirt and sweater, two multitools and an iPod. We found the owner's Myspace on line, using the names on the bag, and sent a message there. This man rarely signed in though, so we’d nearly begun to think of the tools as ours when we finally heard from him. We wound up delivering the bag to a friend of his father, and learned how the bag came to be in the Penobscot. His bag had been thrown in the river in an argument over a girl.

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