One person’s trash is also … another person’s trash

We’re pigs. There’s no getting around it. It’s an art.

University of Minnesota art professor Sean Connaughty began picking up trash from the shore of Lake Hiawatha in Minneapolis in fall 2015, the Minnesota Daily says.

“I became very attached to the lake and noticed the biodiversity here, and really appreciated it as a place to find solitude,” Connaughty said. “But as I began to get closer to the lake, I began to notice the trash problem.”

About three tons of problem. That’s how much trash he’s pulled out of the lake since 2015, he says.

Where does it all come from?

Testing a theory, Connaughty wrote his address on a ball, dropped it in a storm drain gutter in front of his house and waited. After it rained, he found the ball in the lake next to the storm sewer, demonstrating that the trash from the streets goes into the lake.

The storm drains — not the nearby creek — were the culprit.

“I shared that information with the community, and I found, like myself, many people in the community had no idea that the trash from our streets, and the litter and pollution from our streets, is going directly into the lake, and there’s nothing in the way of filtration or protection to stop it,” Connaughty said.

Art can do a lot of things. Maybe it can make us not be pigs. Connaughty and other artists are creating art work out of the trash and hoping the message gets through.