SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — A single-use container ban could be coming to the City of San Marcos. Last week, the San Marco City Council showed unanimous support to move forward with creating a ban at all city parks.
“I am desperate to see this pass,” Council Member Matthew Mendoza said. “I think it’s well overdue.”
While it was only a discussion item and there was nothing to be voted on, every council member agreed they’d like to see a ban created.
“Let’s do it. Let’s leave behind a legacy of a cleaner, greener future,” Council Member Jude Prather said.
It’s something people in the area said they’ve been wanting for years now.
Tom Goynes owns a campsite near the river. He said he’s seen more trash with more people out on the water in the summer.
“The main thing is the trash. It’s so much better to keep it out of the river in the first place,” Goynes said, “than to let people throw them or drink them and sink them.”
The Eyes of the San Marcos River is a group that has picked up litter in and around the waters since 2014. President of the group, Zach Halfin, said the issue has gotten worse.
“When we have our big clean up, it is in the tons,” Halfin said. “Dumpster full of trash.”
Virginia Parker with the San Marcos River Foundation said the trash doesn’t just impact this area.
“The San Marcos River flows into the Guadalupe which reaches the coast. So any trash we can prevent from entering our waterways really has an impact to ocean life as well,” Parker said.
Parker encouraged a ban like this to help protect local rivers, the coasts and the ocean.
Ultimately, Goynes said without a ban, neither the river nor his business can take much more of this trash.
“I really don’t know how much longer we can operate this camp on this river. San Marcos really needs to get on board. It’s time,” Goynes said.
Other non-disposable container bans
Nearby cities, like New Braunfels and Martindale, both adopted “can bans” to prohibit disposable containers on the rivers.
Martindale created its city ordinance five years ago.
Councilmember Mike McClabb said they’re seeing a lot less trash and noise compared to San Marcos.
“It’s such mayhem there. We’re one of the few places that you’d actually bring a family,” McClabb said. “We have people as far as Houston, Dallas, actually come to our parks.”
The San Marcos Parks and Recreation Advisory Board discussed the ban at its meeting last Wednesday. They created a sub-committee to further look into the idea.