This April, Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services installed a first-of-its-kind bandalong trash trap at Little Hunting Creek to help cut down on litter.
The trash trap, installed behind the Hybla Valley shopping center, will catch floating trash like plastic bottles, bags, and polystyrene before it flows downstream into the Potomac River. The trap is the first such device to be installed in Virginia.
Bandalong trash traps are unique in that they depend on the current of the river or waterway they are placed in to help clear the trash. This means that the current carries items such as plastic bottles or polystyrene downriver and feeds it into the trap itself. The method keeps trash from continuing downstream and being dropped in larger rivers or lakes.
The trap at Little Hunting Creek is a pilot program. In the next year, Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services will be monitoring the trap. They will be monitoring how effective it is at clearing the water as well as how often it needs to be cleaned or otherwise maintained.
“We are thrilled that the county has installed a trash trap and started a program to pick up trash from waterways, and we are so grateful to our local legislators for their persistence and success in getting meaningful legislation to address the litter problem in Little Hunting Creek,” said Betsy Martin, President of the Friends of Little Hunting Creek. “All of us who enjoy this beautiful creek look forward to a lot less trash floating down it.”
Sources: Friends of Little Hunting Creek and Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services