Environmentalists in Oakland say they’re extremely worried about a new trend: dumping e-scooters into Lake Merritt. If people don’t stop throwing e-scooters into the city’s eastern lagoon, then it could cause a serious disturbance in the area’s ecosystem.
Crews first noticed e-scooters in Lake Merritt in the autumn of this year. Amazingly, crewmembers said they found at least 60 e-scooters in October—and that number is only growing with each passing month.
The main concern Oakland authorities have is with the e-scooters’ batteries leaking into the water. Once battery fluid pollutes the water, it’s extremely damaging and difficult to get out.
E-scooters from the ride-sharing companies Lime and Bird are the most common ones in Lake Merritt. As of today, only Lime has sent out employees to help locals pull these e-scooters out of the water.
In addition to helping pull out e-scooters in Lake Merritt, Lime employees are also working with Oakland to figure out ways to prevent this problem. One solution Lime has proposed is putting a ban on parked e-scooters near the lake.
Lime also says anyone who is caught tossing an e-scooter into Lake Merritt will instantly get blocked from its services.
Unfortunately, the problem of dumping e-scooters into lakes isn’t just an Oakland issue. Residents of Portland, Oregon have also spotted e-scooters floating in Willamette River in recent months.
The only three e-scooter companies currently operating in Oakland include Lime, Bird, and Skip. As of today, there’s been no comment on this Lake Merritt issue from Bird or Skip.