Saturday, June 11, 2011

Collection Report May 26, 2011

A gorgeous, sunny morning at Bay View beach, Saco, Maine:
9:15AM, ~2 hrs past high tide, 60 degrees F
After weeks of cold drizzle, the sun & heat finally arrived. Two days in a row of bright sun & fairly sweltering weather had brought the first real flurry of beachgoers. And they left their mark.
And we wonder...
This is a bad scene. But I hesitate to fault those who stuffed their trash into this overflowing bin. They were trying to do the right thing. Still, a gust of wind is all it takes to undo a lot of good intentions.

So what did the day bring? The latest high tide had been a weak one, and it was hard to see any fresh seaweed. Still, I doubt I missed this on the 20th:
Would've seen that, right?
Clearly something was still washing in. And those huge logs that had floated up before May 20? They were now handy lunch spots:
Mmm, oranges!
Note to any budding Flotsam Diarists: Every log is a perfect human roost. If you check around one for food-related plastics, you'll find them.

On to the collection details. Zone N:
119 finds:
  • Building materials: 8 (4 wooden slats, painted wood block, cement chunk, tile, asphalt chunk)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 13 (small bits)
  • Fishing misc.: 10 (2 rope bits, 3 string, shotgun shell wadding, shell, 2 lobster trap coatings, trap tag)
  • Food-related plastics: 10 (bottle, 2 strays, 2 bottle caps, bottle cap seal, coffee cup lid scrap, juice cap, 2 faded candy wrappers)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 1 (sea glass)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 59 (20 bits of bag/film, 4 scraps >1", 24 scraps <1", 2 black tape bits, duct tape, toy tractor bucket, battery case, bead, 2 odd circles, bandaid, stretch-band, sifter)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 9
  • Paper/wood: 5 (Dunkin Donuts napkin, Poland Spring bottle label, newspaper scrap, wood disk, sparkler base)
  • Misc./unique: 4 (balled-up pair of socks, cloth scrap, 2 bits of string)
The week's eye-opener is the non-food plastics, with all the small scraps and the bits of bag/film washed in. I find bag bits most weeks, but rarely 20 at a time. Here's a close-up:
1/4 of these might be local drops
The sand sifter is at least a nice addition to our growing beachgoing collection. I always wonder what the story is when something like that is left behind. Quick rainshower? Buried by a toddler? Tantrum forcing a hasty retreat? Or just plain forgotten? At least it's got a new home.

Then over to Zone S:
50 finds:
  • Building materials: 9 (2 asphalt chunks, 2 brick bits, 1 fence slat, 1 post base, 3 bits of green-dyed wood)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 8 (big chunk, 2 pieces of plate, printed cup bit, 4 misc.)
  • Fishing misc.: 4 (3 shell waddings, 1 rope)
  • Food-related plastics: 2 (bottle, milk cap ring seal)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 1 (sea glass)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 18 (scrub brush, bleach bottle cap, clamp bit, strapping, 4 bits of bag/film, ribbon stuck in seaweed, small round cap, 1 scrap >1", 7 scraps <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 6
  • Paper/wood: 1 (small "Sell By" tag -- sell-by date of May 6, 2011)
  • Misc./unique: 1 (fiberglass scrap)
A scrub brush, a wavy piece of fiberglass, and a seaweed-entangled ribbon. You just never know.

169 more pieces total, some from locals, still more from the sea. With Memorial Day and unofficial summer impending, the ratio of the one to the other isn't likely to hold for much longer.


  1. The overflowing bin gives rise to the call "Carry it with you" as my latest blog entry attest to.

  2. It's one of those weird things. If you don't provide a bin, trash gets left. But if you -do-, it almost always fills to overflowing, and then trash gets left. I agree, it'd be nice if we all had a "carry in/carry out" frame of mind; it would save a lot of grief. And pollution.