Fairhope taking proactive approach to litter problem

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WPMI) — Fairhope city officials are hoping to get ahead of the problem as environmental concerns mount in one of Baldwin County’s fastest growing cities.

It’s all about that trash you see on the side of the road and other trash that’s carelessly thrown out by so many people. To some it may not seem like a problem, but when trash washes up and collects along the city’s largest storm water retention pond, those whose job it is to worry, notice.

“The watershed we are standing in is Cow Pen Creek, so anything you throw on Morphy Avenue, Fairhope Avenue, or in the shopping center area will eventually wind up in a storm drain and storm drains empty into water basins and creeks and beautiful Weeks Bay,” said Fairhope Code Enforcement Officer Kim Burmeister.

Mayor Sherry Sullivan showed NBC 15 the area of concern. She says taking proactive step now will make a difference downstream. The mayor says educating people is also part of the plan.

“You know, show people you take pride in your community. You don’t want people coming in throwing down trash. I think keeping a tidy community is reflective of who you are as a community. It makes it more inviting when you come in rather than having a bunch of trash lying around,” said Sullivan.

No decision have been made, but the city is looking at the possibility of purchasing a device known as the “Litter Gitter.” Gulf Coast company Osprey World, who developed the device, is one of several options on the city’s list.

Don Bates with Osprey World says the plan now is to study the problem and give the city the best advice possible. “Sometimes it is a trap. Sometimes it’s as bigger trap than our standard trap. But before we put the quarter of a million dollar fix in, if we can fix it with a $20,000 maintenance schedule, that’s a much better solution, and so that’s where we are seeing a lot our success,” said Bates.

If the city goes with the “Litter Gitter”, it could run about $26,000. The city council will make the final decision.

This story originally appeared on NBC15 News. View the original story 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.