Green

Monday Morning Rainstorms Wash Plastic Debris into Third River

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What looks like a beaver dam is actually an accumulation of sticks and branches from along the river banks that were washed into the Third River by the April 16 rainstorm. Credits: John Lee / TAPinto.net
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Plastic debris caught in branches and twigs long the Third River in Nutley during the April 16 rainstorm and subsequent flooding. Credits: TAPinto Staff
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Storm drain outflow at the Centre St bridge into the Third River in Nutley Credits: John Lee / TAPinto Nutley
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Plastic debris caught in branches and twigs long the Third River in Nutley during the April 16 rainstorm and subsequent flooding. Credits: John Lee / TAPinto Nutley
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Plastic debris caught in branches and twigs long the Third River in Nutley during the April 16 rainstorm and subsequent flooding. Credits: TAPinto Nutley Staff
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NUTLEY, NJ - Monday morning's downpours led to the usual sharing of photos of flooding throughout the township, with the dam at Kingsland Manor and the Mudhole being popular subjects. The flood also revealed the problem of plastic litter in Nutley Parks. 

At Yanticaw Park, at the Centre St Bridge, the outflow pipe from street storm drains can be seen discharging a large stream of water into the Third River below. Rainwater that falls in the area goes into the streets, and then the storm drains, taking with it every leaf, twig, cigarette butt, water bottle, lost mitten, dog turd, and anything else that is in the street along the curb into the river.

Further downstream, branches and sticks were caught in the railings and superstructure of both foot and automobile bridges crossing the river. Most of the branches fell naturally during the winter storms, and were moved downstream when the waters rose.

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As waters rose, they also carried all manner of litter downstream. In each mass of sticks, there were countless pieces of plastic litter including grocery bags, styrofoam coffee cups, and plastic bottles from water and sports drinks.  Everything was washed into the river from either streets or from Nutley parks. It is not known if the plastic litter was discarded in a public place, was left behind, or found its way into the river after a trash or recycling can spilled its contents during this winter's storms.

Some of the floating debris that makes its way downstream in the Passaic River, and eventually Newark Bay, where it may be scooped up by a new vessel that was launched last month to collect floating debris. Some of the plastic will float out to sea, and some of it will find is way onto the beaches of New Jersey and New York. 

Related story: New vessel launched on Passaic River, Newark Bay to collect floating debris

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