May 13, 2014

Vampire teeth, a vintage boat, and messages in a bottle: America’s cultural indicators?

Intro by Tina Casagrand first published in the Missouri Stream Team blog celebrating 25 years this year.

Did you know that New York City’s municipal landfill has an anthropologist-in-residence? She looks at what the people of the city throw away, the history of sanitation workers, and lots of other fascinating things. That got me thinking . . .  maybe a similar task could be taken for the spot where North America’s largest waterways meet. What could cleanup hauls at the Missouri-Mississippi Confluence tell us about litter habits in the eastern and western parts of our country?

Missouri River Relief (Stream Team #1875) has a head start on this research. They’ve tallied trash from their clean-ups for years. April 26th’s Earth Day at the Confluence continued to surprise volunteers and crew alike with a wealth of trash and treasure.

Here are some details on MRR’s work out of Columbia Bottom Conservation Area on April 26. Mull over these cultural indicators, and if you know of any anthropologists looking for a project, tell them to give MSTWC a call!

Earth Day at the Confluence *Results*
Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
Missouri River Clean-up 4-26-14

Volunteers:  178
MRR Crew:  31
Boats:  10 (2 USACE, 3 MDC, 1 Hanson P.S., 4 MRR)
Rivermiles:  9 ( 8 miles of the Missouri, 1 mile of the Mississippi)
River Level:  10 ft (St. Charles gage) 14.8 ft. (on the Mississippi at St. Louis)
Tires:  30 (an estimated .5 tons)
Landfill:  2.8 tons
Scrap Metal:   1.35 tons
Total Tonnage:  4.7 tons

Agencies & Groups:  Missouri River Relief Crew, Missouri Department of Conservation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hanson Professional Services, Cub Scout Pack 97, Cadette Girl Scout Troop #435, Baden Powell Service Association 66th Confluence Scout Group, Anderson Pest Solutions, BioMerieux, Alpha Phi Omega– Washington University, Ethical Navigators 33, Flying Carps, Bank of America, St. Louis University, Boeing, Arnold Stream Team 211, Stream Team 3454 Anglers of Missouri, Saving the World Before Noon, Miramiguoa Master Naturalist, Weber Group, Kabul Waterdogs – Stream Team 3419, Stream Team 4855, Pack 3097, Stream Team River Rovers #4473,

Team Names:  Flying Carp, X-Stream Team, Pack 97, Navigators, A-Team, Super Flying Ninja Kittens, Asian Carp Avengers, Anderson, River Dogs, Otters, Mo Mud Hens, Timberwolves, The Bass Fisherman, 66th Confluence Team, Hardcore Team Tough Guy, The Collaborators, River Rebels, Team Smokinbarrel

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Plus great tunes by Eddie Buchanan & Co.!

Trash Tally!

201 bags of trash
30 tires
11 chunks o’ Styrofoam
4 coolers
11  5-gal. plastic buckets
1  20-gal. plastic tub
12  55-gal. plastic barrels
2  55-gal. metal drums
4 partial metal drums
1 water heater
1 propane tank
1 AC unit piece
1 600 lb Automotive Transformer
1 boxspring
1 chair
2 barge lines
1 buoy
1 car seat cushion
4 gas tanks
1 rim
2 inner tubes
1 - 1957 fiberglass Saber boat
1 oil pan
1 metal trash can
1 pulley
5 metal poles
10 ft. of 2” angle iron
5 ft. of corrugated metal
1 – 6ft. metal pole
8 pieces of metal cable
2 metal locker doors
1 tiny saw blade
1 tv
1 lateral drain tile
2 orange booms
1 chicken wire
1 Rubbermaid tote
1 Rubbermaid lid
1 wall to a Porta-Potti
2 PVC pipes
1 white picket fence
1 bookshelf
A gazillion million balls
1 softball owned by Gary Babetz
1 kiddie push cart
1 rubber canteen
2 milk crates
1 fishing pole
1 dog kennel top
2 pieces of wood with nails
1 big plastic bowl for Clifford

Trash Contest!!! (winners in bold)
1 yellow piggy bank
1 dead snake dead from plastic netting wrapped around it
1 dead gar
1 studded football massage ball
2 armless baby dolls
1 pair of purple vampire teeth
2 doll heads
16 balls
1 coconut
1 water ski
1 plastic checker
1 plastic rabbit
1 plastic duck on wheels
1 easter egg
3 duck decoys
1 plastic penquin
1 wooden flower & bird
1 pink panther print on foam
1 black flip flop
1 men’s cologne box
1 igloo cooler
1 newspaper mailbox
1 plastic shovel
1 swim pad
1 light bulb
1 kids plastic table
1 plastic cone
1 window squeegee
1 large nail
1 hat
1 bucket
1 fishing lure
1 toy fire truck
1 cassette tape
1 turtle shell
1 construction helmet
Several old glass bottles
1 9mm handgun
1 message in a bottle with several letters inside


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