Osprey Initiative helps clean up Louisiana’s waterways for ‘Love the Boot Week’

BATON ROUGE — Each year, “Love the Boot Week” comes back around as an effort to motivate the citizens of Louisiana to clean up trash around them. This effort is marked as Louisiana’s largest cleanup and beautification initiative. Organizations from all over the state come together to clean up trash. 

One of these organizations is the Osprey Initiative, whose mission is to prevent heavy pollution in the Louisiana by collecting and recycling trash. Don Bates created this litter pickup organization in 2017 hoping to help clear Louisiana’s waterways.

Bates says most of the trash we see in the rivers or creeks come directly from the grounds we walk on.

“That litter comes from the land, and is washed down the drain,” Bates said.

His passion for this effort moved him even further, creating a litter capturing device called the little gitter that can be placed in bodies of water to trap trash.

This device has made such an impact, that Bates has expanded his organization to many other states. He knows that in order to make a real change, it starts from one piece of trash at a time. 

Bates says that about 50% of all large events held in the state use recyclable material. There is every reason that people should be organizing this material that can then be brought to processing facilities, he argues.

“It’s amazing what that cumulative impact can be,” he said. 

This story originally appeared on WBRZ by Lauren Hawkins. You can view 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.