Fireworks debris can hurt the environment, experts say

Fireworks debris can hurt the environment, experts say

OMAHA, Neb(FOX42KPTM)-It's the first day after the Fourth of July and there's fireworks debris all over town.

"I think people are kind of entitled and they believe that someone else should clean up after them, I think that's the real problem with Americans," Julien Fielding said. She spent her morning cleaning Elmwood Park.

"I think it's really important to clean up fireworks,"she said. "I really like this park and I'd like it to stay nice."

She picked up trash with her bare hands.

"Little bit saddening that people have some kind of celebration like that and just leave their trash," Fielding said.

According to Keep Omaha Beautiful, fireworks contain a variety of toxic pollutants, including heavy metals, sulfur-coal compounds, and other poisonous materials. To ensure these pollutants do not end up in our local waterways and negatively impact living organisms/aquatic ecosystems, it is important to properly dispose of fireworks waste and prevent it from entering storm drains on the street.

"People don't really think about how much the trash and the fireworks really has an impact on the environment," Amber Nicole Wolfe said. She works at the clothing store called Scout.

Employees of the store and Keep Omaha Beautiful are partnering up this weekend to get the job done.

"We going to give out the supplies and everything and split up in teams and go around the neighborhood," Wolfe said.

FOX 42 asked Fielding what she thought about this idea.

"I think it's a great idea, but I do think they should encourage people to clean up after themselves."

Saturday morning, people will be meeting up at the store Scout on Underwood Avenue. They will hand out supplies. It's from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Here's how you can properly disposed fireworks debris:

1. Put them in a bucket or large tub of water for at least 15 minutes or until they are completely saturated.

2. Seal saturated fireworks in plastic wrap or plastic bag.

3. Place the plastic bag into a trash receptacle

4. Make sure to sweep up any remaining fireworks dust and small debris.

5. Be sure to put the water from that bucket in the toilet, not in your yard or storm drains.

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