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Rockfish River

 

Rockfish River Upstream from Test Site

Solid Waste

 

Stream Surveys

Introduction

A stream survey is an overall assessment of the health of specific ecosystem.  It consists of a chemical, biological, and physical evaluation of the stream in specified segments.  For our purposes, each of these three facets will be composed of the following tests/evaluations:

 Chemical

  • Nitrates
  • Dissolve oxygen
  • Phosphates
  • pH

 Biological

  • Benthic macro invertebrates
  • Plant density
  • Plant diversity
  • BOD

 Physical

  • Weather
  • Stream contour
  • Temperature – air/water
  • Stream depth
  • Stream flow
  • Stream bed composition
  • Turbidity
  • Total Dissolved Solids
The results of these tests will give a general picture of the health of the stream.  Later, more exacting tests will be done to determine phosphate levels and to evaluate e. coli populaitons.  There are limitations to this stream evaluation.  Other tests, especially those for organic compounds like pesticides, will not be conducted.   Another important point to remember is that one stream survey, while important, does not show the whole picture.  What is important is to note trends.  As such results form this surevey will be added to a data base established from previous years so that any trends can be tracked.  


 

Solid Waste

Solid Waste 

You can do your part to reduce solid waste.  According to The Earth Work's Group Recycler's Handbook the average college student generates 640 pounds of solid waste annually -- alomst half of that is paper.

The average American discards 4.34 pounds of garbage every day (EPA Facts and Figures).

Composting organic waste is a good way to recycle back to nature.  In 1996 the Environmental Defense Fund estimated that we in the US disposed of 24 million tons of leaves and grass clippings that could have been composted.  When you mow, don't bag your clippings -- let them breakdown on your lawn and recycle nutrients backinto the soil.  

Paper products make up over 40 percent by weight , slightly higher by volume - of this country's municipal solid waste, by far the largest contributor.  Paper cups consume trees, water, and chemicals, and dump them into streams and landfills- they are not re-cyclable. Paper cups are often wax-coated which reduces their bio-degradeability futher.  (Business Stastistics)

The solid waste industry operates 86 waste-to-energy facilities that generate approximately 2,790 megawatts of renewable energy each year.  That is enough to provide power to about 1.6 million homes.  (Energy Recovery Council, 2010).

Glass can be recycled indefinitely -- it never wears out. (National Recycling Coalition)

According to the EPA, America has a 34.1% recycling rate.


Upper School Librarian

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Stream Survey Overview

More information is provided about the specific tests to be conducted.

 

Solid Waste Overview

An overview on types of solid waste.

 

Solid Waste

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