Another Year of Trashyaking on the Anacostia River

This was put together by my partner, Kelly Tindall. At this point we have owned our kayaks for 24 months. The first 12 months are documented in Biologist Soup. One of the things that stands out to me is how we have both developed really good skills at paddling out impossible, poorly-balanced loads (often with a dog in the boat). We also have had many good friends help with this effort – thank you!

At the end of a day of paddling. Bladensburg Waterfront Park, MD. 1 September 2022

We have paddled 99 times on the Anacostia River since 8/22/2021. What have we taken out in just 1 year? Just because it is so improbable, I am including a list of all the weird things pulled from the Anacostia River since our first paddle (8/22/2020).

  • 346.5 trash bags – trash bags were between 35 to 55-gal trash bags. What does this look like? When doing some conversions, that is roughly 5.3 10-yard dumpsters worth of trash bags only. (this is 3.5 bags of trash each paddle trip) (Additionally, we have pulled 15 bags from the other locations we have paddled). If you include all paddles since 8/22/2020, we have pulled 487. 5 bags, the equivalent of 8.4 10-yard dumpsters.
  • Tire related: 178 tires (this includes: 9 semi-tires, 4 excavator tires and 15 tires on the rim (one still had the brake assembly, and there was one semi tire, one truck tire, and one boat trailer tire on the rim); 6 hub caps, 2 rims, 3 inner tubes with rim protectors from large tires (this is 1.7 tires per trip). (Additionally, another 16 tires from other places we have paddled). If you include all paddles since 8/22/2020, we have pulled 341 tires.
  • 13 chairs (making that a total of 25 chairs).
  • 43 large plastic storage containers (5-gal [and smaller] buckets, plastic totes, milk/beverage crates, laundry baskets, recycling bins, etc.) (making this a total of 58 large plastic containers)
  • Shopping carts: 8 mostly whole and 11 partials (this means we have pulled 14 mostly whole and 11 partial carts)
  • Traffic barriers: 4 traffic cones ( 12 total), 6 traffic barrels (9 total), 1 barricade
  • Bikes related: 8.5 bikes (11.5 total), 1 e-bike (2 total), 1 tricycle (3 total), 11 bike tires (14 total), bike lock
    13 coats/jackets (including vests and sweaters)
    7 tents/tarps

Plastic films: bags, mylar balloons, tarp, bubble wrap, amazon shipping envelopes, ziplocks, and 5 “river bags” – which are unused trash bags that were in good enough condition to fill with trash, plastic gloves, popsicle wrappers, potato chip bags, pesticide pouches, shower curtain.

Drink containers: single use plastic bottles of all variety, baby bottles, reusable water bottles, water cooler water bottle, beverage tray; glass bottles, alcohol bottles, cans, juice boxes, milk jugs, 2-liters, orange juice bottles, juice pouches, plastic cups, Styrofoam cups, lids, straws, 5-gal water bottle for water cooler, soy sauce, duck sauce, salsa, and other condiments packets.

Other Bottles: pesticide bottles, cleaning products, motor oil, anti-freeze, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, aerosol cans.

Other containers: Styrofoam to-go boxes, cake container, plastic food containers (like yogurt containers), 1 to 2-oz sauce containers, ketchup and mustard packages, BBQ dipping sauce packets.

“micro” plastics: numerous pens, lighters, bottle caps, tips for cigars, car air fresheners, broken pieces of plastic, happy meal toys, hair barrettes, plastic letters, Legos

Styrofoam: ice chests, packing peanuts, sheets, molded packing material, etc. Occasionally it is whole, but more often it is in broken pieces of various sizes; large sheet of concrete covered Styrofoam, egg cartons

Other Car Parts: number of large plastic car parts (like the undercarriage of the car), 50’s Chevy bumper, 2 hubcaps; mud cover for a tire, 2 truck inner tubes, arm rests, plastic fairings, headlights, fender, grill, steering wheel cover, floor mats, license plate

Home items: hot water heater, sink, carpet, dehumidifier, throw pillow, TV, 5-gal pot, candles, plastic silverware, lighters, rake, suitcase, pet crate for a large dog, umbrella, roomba, photographs, boom box, 2 gal pot, Swiffer, extension cord, cookware (pots and pans), ice chests, washing machine, couch, couch cushions, couch pillows, curtains, plastic cactus, laundry basket, water hose, ductwork, kid’s headboard, dinner plates, speaker cabinet, ultrasound picture, downspout, showerhead

Bedding materials: 2 queen size mattress (one inflatable and one memory foam), comforter, sleeping bag, pillow, quilt, sheets
Clothes: numerous shoes (tennis shoes, sandals, flip-flops, slippers, shoe inserts, boots); socks, jackets, purses, sweatshirts, vests, sweater, long underwear, shorts, bra, jeans, pair of boots, jogging pants, wallet, backpacks (8), suitcase

Personal products: condoms (used and unopened), feminine hygiene products, Chapstick, Visine, ointments, medicines, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, masks, enema bottles, single use dental floss, dildo, diaphragm, unopened pack of diapers, components of COVID tests

Holiday decorations: numerous Christmas tree ornaments, and assorted Halloween, Easter, Fall and Valentine’s Day decorations, Christmas lights, Mardi Gras beads

Kids toys: my little pony in plastic wrap, pig-face Halloween mask, frisbee, Gameboy, micky mouse briefcase, fire fighter hat, whiffle ball bat, kiddie swimming pool and pool noodles; child’s activity table, plastic tiny tyke basketball goal, pool inner tubes, big wheel, plastic motorcycle, scooter, pellet rifle, batting helmet, base of a basketball goal, skateboards, baby dolls, boogie board, sled, rubber ducks

Balls: official dodge ball, NFL leather football, Regular footballs, soccer balls, tennis ball, baseballs, softballs, plastic balls for a ball pit, ball with a poop emoji, dodge ball, basket balls, chuck-it ball, street hockey ball, ping pong balls, racket ball, superball, playground balls, beach balls, nerf balls, whiffle balls, golf balls, rubber bouncy balls from a gumball machine, shuttlecock, lacrosse ball, bowling ball (plastic kid’s and real)

Fishing equipment: lots of fishing line, fishing bobbers, fishing bait, 2 fishing rods, boat bumper, line fish hooked on discarded fishing line, halibut fillets still in the package, boat hook, cast net, crab pot floats, fish basket

Construction materials: pipe insulation, electrical conduit, fabric barriers, plant tray for restoration work, plastic decking, 10ft of 4 in pipe, 2 pieces PVC pipe, large diameter rubber hose, flashing light, shovel, hoe, signposts, signs, barriers, cones, barrels, restoration platform, partial roll of chain link fence, sheet metal, plastic pots (assume for restoration work)

Random things: CRC Handbook of Chemistry, submersible pump, megaphone, e-bike battery, numerous coconuts; bongo drum, real estate sign, trash can lids, unopened: crackers, chocolate, rice crispy treats, 1-gal water bottle, and fortune cookies – all still sealed; firehose, welding tank, propane tanks, walkie talkie, gun clip, fire extinguisher, carbon fiber arrow, arrow in a dead beaver, can of paint, gift cards, river beers, river margarita mix, 55-gal drum, recycling bins, trash cans (home, municipal, 55-gal), aquarium, unopened Amazon packages, BBQ grill, VHS tape, rope, tents

1 thought on “Another Year of Trashyaking on the Anacostia River

  1. Pingback: Cleaning Up the Anacostia One Tire at a Time: The Eastsider - East of the River

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