Waycross, Ga., Installs Device to Stop Floating Trash
Nestled on the banks of the Satilla River just miles from the famed Okefenokee Swamp and Georgia’s Golden Isles, the city of Waycross, Ga., has become the first city in the state and the second in the nation to install a Bandalong Litter Trap to cease the flow of floating trash downstream.
The project was a collaborative effort. “A cleaner Satilla River will be the result of persistent local Riverkeeper’s efforts, the city’s desire to clean the Satilla and our ability to secure a grant for such a technically and economically feasible project,” said Mayor Clarence Billups. “The city of Waycross is extremely proud to be in the front ranks of environmental leadership and is committed for the long term to a cleaner Satilla River.”
“Water is one of Georgia’s most important and precious resources,” said Gov. Sonny Perdue. “The purchase of the Bandalong Litter Trap by the city of Waycross was made possible by environmental infrastructure project loans by the state of Georgia partially financed by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The device collects floating litter and debris in baskets, which can easily be removed and emptied by a crane located on the banks of the canal. This installation is the first in the nation designed with the lift out baskets system that work with standard public works equipment. Georgia-based Storm Water Systems, North America’s exclusive licensee and manufacturer of the product, installed the device on the main city canal leading to the Satilla River in April.
"There's so much to celebrate today. The fact that we are all here together shows how much better it is to work in the spirit of partnership to solve problems. Our success today is a result of a grassroots effort of citizens and their Riverkeeper joining with city, state and the federal government to answer a local need,” said Bill Miller, Satilla Riverkeeper.
The Satilla River basin drains nearly 4,000 square miles of upper and lower coastal plain habitat in Southeast Georgia. The region’s increased development and subsequent increase in pollution has led to community-wide interest in preserving the river’s quality and ecosystem, which is home to numerous rare, threatened and endangered species of plants and animals.
Storm Water Systems installed the nation’s first Bandalong Litter Trap in Washington, D.C in 2009 on a tributary into the Anacostia River. Within the first six months of operation, the device collected more than 5,000 pounds of litter including plastic bottles, cans, cups and even a shopping cart.