This presentation gives an historical look at the origins of trash in society and presents the results of a trash study done in collaboration with the City of South Portland, Me., and the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD). This long-term study has been collecting, sorting, and weighing trash since 2016. The source area is the 90-acre Maine Mall retail complex in South Portland Maine. Long Creek runs adjacent to the mall and receives stormwater runoff directly from the mall. The trash is sorted into several broad categories for detailed measurement including, food service packaging, snacks and candy, plastic film and grocery bags, paper, bottles and cans, polystyrene, and other. Sorting trash can be a somewhat subjective task as some categories overlap and many items can be difficult to identify. What is interesting is that trash seems to reach a steady state in the urban environment, that at any one time a visual inspection may only show an apparent constant level of trash, neither decreasing or increasing. A long-term study shows that load is not going away, it is being transformed into ether smaller particles, buried, or transported to other locations downstream, and being replaced with new trash.
201 Waterfront St
Fort Washington, MD 20745