Litter Gitter

The Litter Gitter is more than a catchy name – it’s a device that’s changing the way we tackle the challenges posed by litter in our waters.

When it rains, stormwater runoff flows into drains and pipes that feed into our creeks and lakes, carrying with it litter and other types of pollution that degrade water quality and harm aquatic life. Polluted stormwater runoff is the leading cause of pollution in our surface waters.

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.

How it Works

The aluminum Litter Gitter is a floating structure that uses booms to direct the flow of water and litter into a trap. These floating trash traps collect both litter and debris with the goal of preventing it from going farther downstream. The booms allow wildlife, kayaks, and boats to navigate over or under, to create a minimal impact on the surrounding environment. The booms are anchored by stakes in the embankment.

We are continuously modifying our deployment strategies to ensure that we are working with the natural flows of our waterways and using these flows or landforms to maximize our efficiency.




Litter Gitter Maintenance

Getting litter out of the water is only one part – we want to find the source to prevent it from ever making it to our waters.

Once litter is collected, the Osprey Initiative team separates vegetative debris from the litter, and recyclables are separated from other trash. We break down the litter by type, brand, and even age to help our partners development a plan for litter abatement. We then recycle as much of the trash as possible.

Data Collection

Along with installation and maintenance, the Osprey team also provides detailed data on litter and debris collected. Data is collected using a modified version of the EPA’s Escaped Trash Assessment Protocol (ETAP) tool, a full recommendation on how to gather, sort, and document trash collection. 

In delivering this data to our partners, we can help create solutions that stop litter at its source – before it ever makes it to our waterways!

There are active Litter Gitters across several states in the United States…check out our SITE MAP for locations near you! Each site is maintained by Osprey and we provide data on the litter collected.

How can I get Litter Gitters in my community?

Contact us! We’re happy to learn more about the litter challenges in your area and how Osprey can help. Send an email to

Still have questions? Visit our FAQ page.