Cleanup removes 10 acres of trash from Burden wetland

This collection of some 81 tons of garbage from homes and vehicles across south Baton Rouge traveled along Wards Creek before settling on property in a wooded area off Essen Lane near the LSU Burden Museum and Gardens. (Marie Constantin)

Ten acres of trash was removed this fall from a borrow pit at LSU’s Burden Museum and Gardens that has been collecting trash from stormwater for decades, according to a recent announcement from the LSU AgCenter.   

The pit was featured in a January 2021 Business Report cover story about Baton Rouge’s litter problem. A number of litter cleanup efforts have launched in the region since then. In August of this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $500,000 to the LSU AgCenter to implement three litter abatement sites across Baton Rouge. Those sites included The Burden Museum and Gardens, the Capitol Lakes, and Bayou Fountain at BREC’s Highland Road Park. Supplemental funding totaling $400,000 was provided by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and $75,000 by the lieutenant governor’s office.   

Alabama-based environmental contractor Osprey Initiative was contracted to remove and study the trash at the Burden. Osprey is now working with the AgCenter and Tricoeur Engineering Services to determine where to strategically place different litter catching devices to test their efficiency in catching trash before it flows into the Burden wetland.    

The information gained from the tactical cleanup will also be used to educate the public and local businesses about how to reduce the amount of litter before it gets into storm drains. 

Additionally, the botanic gardens is working on plans to enhance the borrow pit and wetland and link them to the existing trail system for the public to access the demonstration site. The site will educate municipalities on stormwater management for improving quality of life and environment, according to the AgCenter. 

This story originally appeared on Baton Rouge Business Report. Read the original story online here.


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The patented Litter Gitter is a tactical in-stream litter collection device used to intercept floating litter from stormwater runoff. The Osprey team handles all aspects of installing and maintaining these “trash traps” and compiles data on the items caught in them, recycling as much of the litter as possible.