‘Can ban’ returns to New Braunfels, tubers already receiving citations


NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (KXAN) — The city of New Braunfels has reinstated its “can ban” and dozens are already paying the price for breaking the rules.  

For the past three years, floaters have been able to bring cans and other disposable containers onto the river.

The chance to do so was made possible by a 2014 ruling that determined the city’s ban was unconstitutional. However, last May the state appeals court reversed that decision, allowing the city to reinforce the ban.  

Over the Memorial Day weekend — the first summer holiday weekend since the ban went back into place — the city tells KXAN it issued almost 80 citations to those violating the city ordinance. Two people were also cited for having oversized coolers.

“We’re going to have to educate and work with them to find some solutions. It’s easier to come prepared,” said New Braunfels River Operations manager Amy Niles 

The city says you can still drink whatever you want while you float the river, it just must be in a non-disposable container if you’re inside the city limits, which includes the Comal River and Guadalupe River below Gruene Bridge.  

“Anything that is designed to be used once and then disposed of is no longer allowed on the river,” said Niles. That means no cans, disposable water bottles, chip bags, zip lock bags and Styrofoam coolers. 

“It’s clean water and it’s clear and it’s a pretty place to be so we want to keep all the trash out,” said Niles. 

Most people floating the river on Friday were following the new ordinance, however, some say it means a little extra work. 

“It’s kind of a hassle because we can’t really bring a cooler with extra drinks. Like, I don’t know, sodas or anything we wanted to take on the river previously,” said Camryn Sandoval. “But then as a group, we decided after we float the first time we can come back to the car and refill.”

If you are given a ticket for not following the ordinance, it could cost you up to $500. 

Above Water Litter31,665 lbs.7,742 lbs.12,753 lbs.23,954 lbs.26,854 lbs. 29,361 lbs.
Scuba Litter72,778 lbs.820 lbs.1,225 lbs.4,059 lbs.3,928 lbs. 4,255 lbs.
Total Litter104,443 lbs.8,562 lbs.13,798 lbs.28,013 lbs.30,512 lbs.33,616 lbs.

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