Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Before the sun goes DOWN, pick it UP, and THROW it in a MINA Adopt-a-Bin

In keeping with their MINA Adopt-a-Bin sponsorship responsibilities, last Saturday CTSI and Tan Holding employees held a clean-up of Susupe Beach Park. 19 Employees raked up mounds of litter-strewn ironwood needles that contained old bones,cigarette butts and packages, pull tabs, bottle caps, and juice box straws and wrappers. These items may seem too insignificant to be considered litter by the people who carelessly drop them on the ground, but this type of debris is difficult to remove from sand, leaves, and the general marine environment. So instead of volunteers collecting what would only fill a few bags, 80 bags of debris are raked up on average each month from Susupe Beach Park, as reported by a regular clean-up volunteer Argie Buensalido, a CTSI employee.

Even small bits of marine debris can last for years in the environment before degrading. NOAA’s Marine Debris website reports that cigarette butts can last up to five (5) years, aluminum cans 200, plastic bottles 450, and monofilament fishing line up to 600 years. Batteries of various types are made of heavy metals and corrosive electrolytes that last for thousands of years continually leaching these poisons into our ground water and marine environment.

What is left on the ground today is washed out to sea joining the myriad of pollutants and debris making up the Pacific Garbage Patch. Wikipedia reports that the Patch “is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.” The Gyre is located roughly between 135° to 155°W and 35° to 42°N.

As a responsible organization, Tan Holdings created a recycling program last year for all their affiliates. The program has greatly diminished their contribution to the CNMI’s landfill. Joven Cruz, CTSI Station Manager, said Reality Management Services (RMS) collects paper, metals, and plastics from all their business locations including some apartment complexes, “RMS then sends the recyclables to Ericco Enterprises and DPW’s lower base transfer station for shipment off island. As a CTSI employee I’m proud to say that by recycling we are helping to extend the life of our landfill.”

CTSI and Tan Holding’s volunteer efforts did not go unappreciated. At least two families gathered at the park on Saturday for their own festivities. Ami King-Pableo, who was celebrating her birthday, said that she purposefully called family members to remind them to bring garbage bags for cleaning up afterwards.

MINA asks everyone to act as responsibly. Before the sun goes DOWN on your fiesta, remember to pick it UP, and THROW it in an Adopt-a-bin. It’s that easy. If you are interested in learning more or would like to add your name to MINA’s Adopt-a-Bin map please contact 233-Reef, or

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