Groups Encounter New Problem during Annual Stream Cleanup at UVA
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Clean water is essential for everyone, and some University of Virginia students are doing their part to help make the Chesapeake Bay watershed a little less polluted.
Some of the people helping with the cleanup say a new way to get around is also causing a different kind of pollution.
Beta Bridge is covered with layers of paint since UVA students are always decorating it.
But underneath that brightly colored bridge is a layer of trash.
“A lot of beer bottles, soda cans, Sheetz bags,” Brian Cameron, a UVA fourth year who’s with the Office of Sustainability, said.
In an effort to clean up the area, UVA’s Office of Sustainability and the Clean Water Working Group held their fourth annual Beta Bridge cleanup event on Saturday morning.
“It’s hard to believe here at Beta Bridge there is a little stream,” Dawson Garrod, who works with facilities management, said. “It’s a tributary that runs down to Meadow Creek, and Meadow Creek catches up with the Rivanna, goes into the James, and discharges into the Chesapeake Bay. So if we’re polluting right here, we’re actually affecting stream health and the health of the bay.”
This annual cleanup helps rid the watershed of everything from beer cans to plastic cups, but a new problem is presenting itself this year.
“Increasingly, you see a lot of Lime scooters down on the railroad tracks as well,” Cameron said.
Scooters like Lime or Bird are being thrown into the water, which, according to people involved with the cleanup, can cause a domino effect of problems.
“Any of the batteries that are in there, any kind of oils or grease that might have been picked up by the tires, all that gets into the stream water, finds its way into the creek as well, which is obviously bad for the environment and the ecosystem, too,” Garrod said.
The volunteers who came out on Saturday sorted everything they picked up into about 40 bags of trash and recycling.
The group got special permission from Buckingham branch to go on the train tracks and complete the cleanup.