P3 determined to curb pollution in local waterways

Published 11:32 am Saturday, September 6, 2014

FRANKLIN—If you have been driving around Franklin the last couple of weeks, you may have seen a group of Franklin students painting storm drains. The P3 team, The Project… Pollution Prevention, is stenciling the storm drains with the sign, “No Dumping…Drains to River.”

From left to right, Angela Bird, Vanessa Stone and Summer Winston of P3. -- SUBMITTED

From left to right, Angela Bird, Vanessa Stone and Summer Winston of P3. — SUBMITTED

The Community Problem Solving team is working to decrease water pollution and increase recycling efforts. Parking lot and road litter washes into the storm drains and flows directly into the Blackwater River.

Student Summer Winston said, “Many people think the trash from storm drains goes into the waste water treatment plant and then into the river, but they’re wrong! It flows into ditches and eventually into the river. It’s a real mess!”

“The Riverkeeper, Jeff Turner, told us he collects thousands of pounds of trash each year that has come from careless people throwing trash on the side of roads that ends up in the river. Most of the trash we found caught in storm drains could be recycled,” added Angela Bird.

Vanessa Stone said, “Even some of the people who get their livelihood from fishing or boating on the river throw their trash in the river. It’s hard to believe that they don’t realize they are destroying the beautiful environment that they enjoy so much.”

The worst pollutants are plastic bottles, styrofoam containers and plastic bags. Research shows that more than 7 million plastic bags find their way into the environment every day. P3 is working to educate people to “Stash Their Trash and then RECYCLE!” The team will distribute recyclable bags and information to businesses that sell bait and fishing supplies to give to fishermen. Signs will also be placed at boat landings to inform recreational boaters to also stash their trash.

“If people continue to think that their little bit of trash won’t hurt the environment, they need to stop and consider the effect if everyone on the river thinks that way. This team is determined to improve the waterway pollution problem,” said coach Patti Rabil.

If you would like to know more about P3’s project and efforts, you can visit their website at www.recyclefranklin.org, starting in October, or email the group for more information at recyclefranklin@gmail.com.