DENVER (CBS4) – Walk around Civic Center Park in Denver, and you’ll find litter everywhere. Bottle caps, plastic bottles and paper are strewn throughout the gutters.
When it rains, all that trash is washed into Denver’s storm drains, and it then heads to Cherry Creek and the South Platte River.
“As water and filth flows down through this street right here, all the trash, the hydro carbons from the asphalt and sediment goes in here and hits the gutter bin,” said Brian Deurloo, founder of Frog Creek Partners.
His company has developed special gutter bins that fit into storm drains and collect trash and sediment. Frog Creek Partners has teamed up with The Greenway Foundation and the City of Denver for a pilot program.
They’ve installed 12 gutter bins in the city to show how much trash they can keep out of the rivers and creeks.
“In just five months those 12 bins, and really eight of them did the bulk of the work, in keeping out over 1,400 pounds of trash out of the South Platte River,” said Devon Buckels with the Greenway Foundation.
She adds that picking up trash once it hits our waterways only does so much and stopping it at the source is key.
“Crews walk the South Platte River every single week and pull out enough trash to fill a 30 cubic yard dumpster… which is the equivalent of seven pickup truck loads,” she told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
The pilot program will last until April 2019, and the hope is more gutter bins will be installed throughout the city.