Trash census: 'Stuff' collected and counted in Sellwood
First thing on a Saturday morning, the only creatures at Sellwood Riverfront Park are dogs and their owners, out for a romp.
However, on September 15, some twenty folks gathered, with buckets and pick-up grabbers, to participate in a census by environmental nonprofit "The Story of Stuff" – as the part of its "Global Week of Action" called the "Trash Pick-up and Brand Audit".
"After a group produced a documentary called 'The Story of Stuff', they formed a nonprofit group that promotes events to raise awareness around issues of litter, pollution, and how our 'stuff' gets into different places," explained the local organizer, Katy Liljeholm, as volunteers gathered.
"During our 'brand audit' today, we'll be picking up trash here in Riverfront Park, and then along the Springwater Corridor Trail, and we'll be separating the plastic," Liljeholm told THE BEE. "Then, we'll examine each plastic item, try to determine the 'brand name' of the product it came from, and will write down all that information.
"This is part of a coalition of 1,300 global environmental organizations who are doing little tiny studies like this all over the world, with the aim of aggregating information to present to 'frequent offender corporations' to let them know that their trash ends up in our environment, poisoning our communities, and we're advocating for them to find and use alternative designs and alternative materials."
After a short briefing, the group was headed out, plucking up trash, and sorting it for identification.