When it rains, the water either soaks into the ground or it moves across the ground surface, heading downhill into wetlands, creeks, rivers, or storm water drains.
As water moves across parking lots, roads, driveways, and any surface really, it picks up debris that are in its path and carries it along.
Eventually, any trash on the ground has a good chance of making its way to our waterways.
Do you know where your storm water goes?
Do you know what is in your storm water?
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In 2010, Satilla Riverkeeper worked with the City of Waycross to install a Bandalong Litter Trap in the City Drainage Canal/Caney Branch just before it reaches the main stem of the Satilla River. Waycross has an extensive canal system, into which storm water from 8,000 acres of urban areas drains.
The Bandalong serves to catch the solid debris flowing off the the streets of the urban area before it reaches the Satilla River. To date, the Bandalong has prevented 600 cubic yards (about 40 dump truck loads) of trash from entering the river.
Make sure the location you pick for your clean-up is safe.
Make sure you wear protective gear:
1. Gloves - work gloves and garden gloves work well
2. Reflective clothing or safety vest if near a roadway.
2. Closed-toed shoes and long pants are recommended.
You'll need something to put the trash in!
Buckets and plastic bags work well. For small clean-ups, you can reuse plastic grocery bags!
Trash "Grabbers" can be helpful, too. Find one at your local hardware or home improvement store.
Throw it Away!
Dispose of trash properly.
If you pick up a relatively small amount of litter, you can dispose of it with your regular household garbage.
Larger items may need to be taken to a dump or transfer station.
If you are able, remember to recycle!