Currents July 2018

Did you know that the Great Lakes are the biggest freshwater source in the world? Lake Erie is the most productive for fishing of all the Great Lakes. Your support helps make our streams clean, clear and healthy so they can support this complex ecosystem. By donating to PCS, you help us reach our goals of restoring rivers that lead to Lake Erie beaches that promote fishable and swimmable conditions for generations.

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recycleAs consumers who care about the environment, PCS wants to emphasize the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle.  The universal symbol for recycling has three green arrows that represent this message. The first arrow reminds us to reduce our consumption.  Less really is more and we often purchase unnecessary things that quickly become waste. The second arrow encourages us to reuse what we already have!  Too often in our society, our consumption is dictated by convenience.  It’s easier to buy another item than reuse what is already there.  Even something as simple as plastic sandwich bags can be washed, dried, and reused.  Clothing, working electronics, furniture, and more can be donated to a re-sell shop that will give your old things new life.  The last arrow represents recycling, which should be the final option after you have already reduced and reused.  Not everything can be recycled, which is why the first two R’s are so important to limiting what goes to the landfill. However, recycling can be variable and confusing, so read on to find out some information about proper recycling procedures. 

Last month, PCS was invited to participate in the Western Ohio Girl Scout’s Enviro-Olympics!  We led the girls in a hands-on environmental educational activity focusing on the right way to recycle.  There are lots of rules when it comes to recycling, and we are here to help you recycle right.  Many cities have convenient curb-side recycling programs that don’t require sorting. However, these bins are often contaminated by materials that are non-recyclable.  This means, even the items that can be recycled end up getting thrown out at the recycling facility.  It is critical to make sure your bins aren’t inadvertently contaminated, so our recycling rates continue to climb.  Before you fill up your bin this week, make sure you check out your municipalities list for what they accept.  Each location has different recycling regulations – some accept all plastics, some won’t accept caps or lids on containers, etc.  Here’s a list of general do’s and don’ts for recycling:

  • DO rinse out containers
  • DON’T assume all plastic is recyclable 
    • Check the bottom for a number inside the recycling symbol
    • If there’s no number, DON’T recycle it
    • Check your municipality’s accepted plastics
      • #1-#7 or #1-#5
      • Most always accept #1 and #2
  • DO recycle mail, computer paper, and newspaper
  • DON’T recycle toilet paper, paper towels, tissue paper, or construction paper
  • DO recycle all aluminum cans, after they’ve been rinsed
  • DON’T recycle Styrofoam or take-out containers and coffee cups made of foam
  • DO recycle all glass containers, after they’ve been rinsed
  • DON’T recycle soiled cardboard or greasy/ dirty materials
  • DO use other non-landfill options: Terra-cycling, reusing it yourself, composting, Goodwill, etc
  • DON'T recycle plastic bags
    • Take them back to a store
      • Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, and many others have plastic bag stations by the front doors
  • DO check out your recycling facility's website for specific information on what they accept in their bins and what dates they accept other things (yard waste, electronics, furniture, etc.)
    • If you live in Wood County, they recently updated their permanent recycling station's acceptable items list
    • Many hardware stores and electronics stores will accept old lightbulbs, batteries, and other items that can't go in the trash

Make a commitment for your family to recycle the right way and reduce the amount of items you use that end up in the landfill.  Materials like aluminum, glass, and plastic take thousands of years to breakdown.  Most Americans throws away over 4 pounds of trash each day!  This trash can unintentionally end up in our waterways, threatening wildlife and damaging the aesthetic condition of our local streams, rivers, and Lake Erie.  We are facing a plastic pollution crisis and by recycling the right way, we can prevent making this problem worse.

WCPD PCSCanoeScouting6 4 1835There are plenty of opportunities for paddling the Maumee River this summer!  Our partners at Toledo Metroparks and Wood County Parks are hosting events where you can explore all that the Mighty Maumee has to offer:

  • Toledo Metroparks Trail Challenge – Trail & Paddle program. This challenge will run until June 19th of 2019, so there is plenty of time to get your mileage in.  Set a goal of 50, 100, or 150 hiking miles or 30, 80, or 100 paddling miles.  You can register online or at Wildwood Preserve’s Visitor Center. Participants will receive a t-shirt, Facebook group entry, special event invitations, and a hiking stick with a badge. This is a great way to Get Outside Yourself on the newly designated Maumee River Water Trail and explore the phenomenal Toledo Metroparks trail system.

  • Wood County Parks is hosting a Canoeing with Crayfish program on the Maumee River with Naturalists and ODNR stream scientists on Saturday, July 21st.  Paddlers will meet at the Weirs Rapids Access (21095 Range Line Road in Bowling Green) at 9am for a three-hour paddle. Learn how to evaluate water quality by studying macro and micro-invertebrates.  Liability forms are required and there is an age limit to be in the canoe.  For more information about this program and to register: click here.

CYS save the dateDon’t miss two of our most popular annual programs this summer!  

  • Water Quality Boat Cruise:  The Fourth Annual Water Quality Boat Cruise on the Sandpiper will commence on Sunday, August 5th from 2-4pm.  We are looking forward to cruising the Maumee River and seeing the sights of downtown Toledo from the water.  This unique tour will have several regional water quality experts to discuss issues affecting our waterways and what is being done to address them.  Registration is required and will be available soon, so mark your calendar for this can’t-miss event!
  • Clean Your Streams 22:  Our Clean Your Streams Planning Team has officially set the date for the 22nd Annual Clean Your Streams Day!  CYS 22 will be held on Saturday, September 22nd of this year.  If you are interested in sponsoring or donating to this event, please contact our office at (419) 874-0727.  Volunteer registration will be live in August, so check back in with us later this summer for more information.  You can also view pictures and statistics from previous years’ Clean Your Streams Days on our website!

Our Clean Your Streams 365 program is heating up this summer!  PCS has facilitated six cleanups so far and are looking for more volunteers who want to make an impact on our waterways!  Our groups have had some very impressive trash totals – UT Ultimate Frisbee Club with 175 pounds, Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School with 550 pounds, St. John’s Jesuit High School with 610 pounds, Perrysburg Great American Cleanup with 180 pounds, Troop 11574 with 90 pounds, and the Toledo Zoo Teens with 220 pounds!  We are at almost 2,000 pounds of marine debris removed from our Maumee River and tributaries!  But, unfortunately, there’s more trash where that came from.  Do you have a group that needs service hours or is looking for a program to benefit the community?  Sign up for our CYS 365 program and compete in our cleanup competition! “Trash” talk is encouraged!


Currents: July 2018

Your donation, no matter how small, can make a huge difference in the long run. Every penny goes a long way in protecting your water.

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Bob Neubert
President of the Board
Lucas Co. Engineers

Andrew Curran
Vice President
Assistant Scout Executive,
Boy Scouts of America

Joan King
First Solar

Kyle Spicer
Private Citizen

Denise Fonner
Board Member
Private Citizen

Jeff Gibbs
Board Member
Private Citizen

Chris Smalley
Board Member
Park Services Supervisor
Metroparks of the Toledo Area

Bob Neubert
Board Member
Lucas Co. Engineers

Bill Hoefflin
Board Member
Private Citizen

Partners for Clean Streams Inc. is striving for abundant open space and a high quality natural environment; adequate floodwater storage capacities and flourishing wildlife; stakeholders who take local ownership in their resources; and rivers, streams and lakes that are clean, clear and safe