Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Put a Lid on It: Protecting Wildlife and Rainwater on Campus

Did you know? Every time a dumpster or garbage bin is left open outside, it affects wildlife and the quality of water in our tributaries and streams. Animals such as squirrels, raccoons, and various little critters climb into dumpsters looking for food only to find themselves trapped inside. When waste management comes to take the trash to the dump, they unknowingly take these trapped creatures as well. Noticed only at the dumping site, these animals are often severely injured or injured past the point of survival.

Also, rainwater collects in these dumpsters. The collected rainwater mixes with the garbage in the dumpster and leaks out into our environment in the form of runoff.

Because much of this runoff is only treated through the interaction with vegetation and soil media it is important for us to make sure the runoff is free of contaminants before it is discharged to the environment.

What can you do about it? You can help to preserve wildlife and increase rainwater quality on campus by remembering to Put A Lid On It! Always double check when throwing your waste away that the receptacle is properly closed. And do your part to close those that others have left open. 

Get Involved! Volunteer or intern with Storm Water Management Program. Questions or Comments? Contact UCSC Storm Water Manger at (831) 459 – 4520 or visit cleanwater.ucsc.edu

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