AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin leaders received a book-long report earlier this month on trash we find in the city’s creeks and rivers.
The city’s Watershed Protection Department released a 130-page field study conducted from November 2021 to April 2022 documenting where the trash is found, where it comes from and how to clean it up.
The study looked at 19,467 observations made in 20 watersheds along 110 miles of streams.
WPD discovered a dependence on disposable items and single-use plastics resulting in the trash along Austin’s creeks. Plastic bottles, food containers, masks, tents — you name it, and they found it.
All of this waste flies in from overflowing trash cans, cars and even yards.
According to WPD environmental scientist senior Andrew Clamann, there’s no single source to blame.
“We could clean the creeks every day all day for the rest of time,” he said.
If we don’t stop the source of trash from getting into the creeks, we’re never going to really solve the problem and small amounts of litter. With 2 million people in our community results in a very massive problem,” Clamann said.
This comes as a concern, as this trash can cause flooding by clogging up the waterways.
The City of Austin said you can help by reporting incidents through the 3-1-1 smart phone app.
This could be anything from littering, seeing scooters in a creek or even property managers blowing waste into the waterways from parking lots.