Aaron Horsey of Cleanwater Constructions, Cr Theresa Morgan and council’s Roberto Da Silva inspect the new litter traps before they are installed.

Filtering through the trash for cleaner waterways

A LOCAL engineer has developed an innovative litter-catching device that will improve the health of Mackay’s waterways and marine environment.

Mackay Regional Council engineer Roberto Da Silva designed the device with the help of Cleanwater Constructions, to capture rubbish and organic matter at stormwater drainage points, preventing it from entering Mackay’s water system.

A total of 41 litter baskets have been installed as part of a council and Reef Catchments initiative aimed at reducing the amount of rubbish that enters the Pioneer River and Great Barrier Reef lagoon. The baskets were fitted at various locations around the Mackay City Centre as well as some outlying suburbs in an effort to create cleaner waterways.

Parks and Environment portfolio councillor Theresa Morgan said the litter baskets were specifically designed for Mackay’s water network.

“The baskets have been installed below the road invert where rubbish that would otherwise flow into our waterways is netted in a filter mesh lining,” she said.

Aaron Horsey of Cleanwater Constructions, Cr Theresa Morgan and council’s Roberto Da Silva inspect the new litter traps before they are installed.
Aaron Horsey of Cleanwater Constructions, Cr Theresa Morgan and council’s Roberto Da Silva inspect the new litter traps before they are installed.
“The devices are expected to capture a combined one cubic metre of litter per quarter which will have huge benefits for the health of our waterways, river and coast.

“To alleviate the risk of flooding, the baskets also feature an overflow mechanism and will be maintained by council four times a year, focussing on the wet season.” Reef Catchments coasts and biodiversity coordinator, Stefanie Wabnik said the traps would target the identified ‘Top 10’ street pollution items for the Mackay region.

“We are expecting to see a major reduction in debris entering Mackay’s water system, primarily soft plastics like wrappers, food packaging and plastic bags, alongside cigarette butts,” she said.

“Other targets include foil and aluminium cans, bottle tops and lids and plastic drink bottles.

“This kind of litter, left unchecked, has the potential to damage and disrupt our valuable aquatic ecosystems and water supply.”

This project is a joint initiative of Mackay Regional Council and Reef Catchments, through funding from the Australian Government Reef Programme. Reef Catchments obtained $20,000 funding for the project and council will maintain the traps.

For more information visit www.mackay.qld.gov.au.
 
For further information please contact:
Lyneale Thrupp, Marketing and Communications Officer                     4961 9618

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