What is a 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.

Litter Gitter - then and now

The Litter Gitter concept has remained the same – a floating structure that uses booms to direct the flow of water and litter into a trap. The booms allow wildlife to navigate under or over. The goal is to have minimal impact on the environment in which the Litter Gitter is installed. They are anchored by stakes in the embankment.

The upgraded Litter Gitter featured a device framed with PVC pipe. Our team can maneuver easily over the booms with kayaks as they maintain the trash traps. 

Initial tests on these designs indicated an 80+% success rate in preventing the downstream loss of floating litter.

The aluminum Litter Gitter is the latest design. It’s our goal to recycle the aluminum captured in our Litter Gitters to create new ones to install across the country.

There are currently 31 active Litter Gitters across five states in the United States. Each site is maintained by Osprey and we provide data on the litter collected.

Why is data important?

We don’t just collect litter, we use our patented technology to collect data to determine sources and develop and implement solutions. 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.

We review the data, which breaks down litter by type, brand, and even age. This drives plan development for litter abatement.

Since we’ve started, we’ve successfully removed over 23,000 pounds of trash from the waters in which Litter Gitters are installed.

How can I get Litter Gitters in our area?

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


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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.