What Does a Trash Trap Do?
The ACCGov trash trap at the Martin Luther King site was installed late July in 2020, and stayed there for 8 months before moving to the Virginia Callaway-Cofer Walker Park (formerly Trail Creek Park).
Trash traps serve to collect litter, sediment, and other pollutants that are washed into river systems from rainwater concentrated on hard surfaces (i.e. roads). With 80% of ocean pollution having land-based origins, trash traps can serve as an effective tool for a healthy water system.
Generously provided and installed at no cost for the first year by Stormwater Systems, the ACC Unified Government will now have the option to purchase the trap for permanent installation after a year of collection and monitoring.
What the Trash Trap has Accomplished
Over the past year, the trash trap withstood many heavy rainstorms and has prevented an estimated 97,716 pieces of trash (Kiesling, 2021) and other debris from entering the adjacent Oconee River and eventually the ocean.
The map above shows both the scope of the North Oconee River Habitat Restoration Project, as well as where the trash trap was placed.
This project, headed by the Sustainability Office, was also championed by a partnership of various Athens-Clarke County Unified Government departments including Solid Waste and Transportation and Public Works, as well as a diverse research team of UGA professors and students headed by Dr. Jenna Jambeck of the College of Engineering, Dr. Todd Rasmussen of the School of Hydrology, and Dr. James Shelton of the Warnell School of Forestry. The UGA team has regularly conducted water level and quality testing at the site.