Homewood installs Litter Gitter after delay due to COVID-19

Don Bates ties a knot in the rope as he connects the line of buoys to the caged floatation device of the Litter Gitter during the installation of the device in Griffin Brook along Broadway Street in Homewood on May 27. Photo credit: Erin Nelson

The first Homewood Litter Gitter was installed May 27 in Griffin Brook at the intersection of Broadway and Redfern streets, and another is expected to be installed in Shades Creek this month.

The Litter Gitter is an in-stream litter collection device developed by Osprey Initiative. It’s wide enough to stretch across an entire body of water, and it’s anchored down so that it won’t wash away with flooding. It traps litter in a cage-like device without disturbing the stream’s marine wildlife.

Homewood’s first Litter Gitter was to be installed in April, but the installation was delayed because of restrictions brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“This is such an exciting day, and I am so thrilled that we are all here,” said Homewood Councilor Jennifer Andress at the May 27 drop-in. “These creeks that run through our community are so important.”

Homewood is the second municipality in Jefferson County, behind Birmingham, to install a Litter Gitter. Birmingham’s device traps nearly 50 pounds of litter a month, Andress said.

“I want to challenge some of the other municipalities with (Birmingham) Water Works to look at getting a Litter Gitter as well,” Andress said. “Let’s see what kind of impact we can make on cleaning up our waterways.”

This story originally appeared in the Homewood Star by Ingrid Schnader on June 24, 2020. View the original story here. 

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Initial tests indicate a 80+% success rate in preventing the downstream loss of floating litter. Osprey handles all aspects of installing and maintaining the Litter Gitter. Litter is separated from vegetative debris.