Winters in Fairbanks, Alaska can be long and harsh. The cold temperatures, which can dip down to forty degrees below zero or even colder, are not inviting temperatures in which most people do like to be outside in any longer than necessary. Throughout the winter snow falls from above and covers land, streets, neighborhoods, and anything else it lands on, including trash. Between the cold and the snow, it is no wonder that trash is a common site when winter fades away and warmer temperatures melt the snow. The Executive Estates neighborhood is seeing a lot more trash now that the snow has been melting. It can pretty much be said that no one likes the look of trash lying about, but beyond the unsightly look of trash there lies the negative environmental impact that trash can have. Although trash may not be a prominent problem in the Executive Estates neighborhood, residents of the neighborhood should create a pick up trash day for April 28th, to help clean the area because the trash that has collected during the winter has a negative impact on soil, plant, and animal health.
There are different ways in which trash ends up on the ground. One of those ways trash ends up on the grounds of Executive Estates is due to the presence of the dumpsters that are provided for the residents for their trash disposal. Along with the trash that does not always make it into the dumpsters when residents dispose of their household trash, people sometimes drop trash accidentally and not realize it or even, at times, drop trash onto the ground purposely. Regardless of how the trash has ended up on the ground in this neighborhood, the trash is there and needs to be picked up. Throughout the winter, the trash that ends up on the ground gets buried, so it isn’t all too easy to keep up with clean up. Now that the snow is melting all the trash that built up during the winter is now visible. Animals, as well as people, see the trash that lies on the ground.
Ravens are common to most places in Fairbanks, Executive Estates included. Sometimes ravens investigate trash on the ground while looking for food. All trash can pose a risk to the health of ravens. Since there are many different kinds of trash, there are different kinds of harm that can be brought into the environment. Ravens are not meant to eat human foods, and definitely are not meant to eat trash, not to mention that the trash a raven comes in contact could be contaminated and poisonous to the raven. A raven may even fly off with the trash it finds and land with it in a different location. This can cause the trash to be spread to areas outside of the neighborhood, to less populated ground areas, and water areas, making it less likely to be picked up and disposed of properly. Once that happens, trash pollution of Executive Estates is no longer an isolated trash pollution issue.
Ravens aren’t the only means of transportation for trash though. As the snow melts, and when rain falls, the water can wash trash to other areas, and it can wash chemicals from trash, be it cigarette butts or a household cleaner container, into the ground and storm drains. The water acts as a mode of transportation that can accelerate the rate the chemicals leach into the ground. The water transportation also washes trash pollution to water ways, taking the pollution further away from the neighborhood. All fishes and animals that live in and use water will be affected by the pollution too. It is clear that the negative impact of trash goes well beyond being unsightly.
By implementing a clean-up day, the negative environmental effects of the trash will be drastically minimized. Simple flyers with Clean-Up Day information will be hung from the clips that each front door has. Clean-up of the neighborhood will be accomplished on Saturday, April 28th, at 11am by a group of people working together. Executive Estates is not a very large compound, consisting of 108 units, so clean-up can easily be accomplished in one day. With a supply of heavy duty clean-up bags and a box of disposable gloves from Home Depot for volunteers, and the volunteers, very little is needed to clean-up Executive Estates, but the benefits reaped will extend past April 28th and past the boundaries of the neighborhood. The trash that has built up through the winter will no longer cause eye-sore for the area, and will keep less trash from enter harming the environment and being spread to other areas.