The City of Charlotte announced a pilot program to collect and remove litter from waterways in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area using devices called Litter Gitters. The devices are small, stream litter collection devices used to intercept floating debris from storm water runoff.
Partnering with the city on the project are Mecklenburg County, Envision Charlotte, Coca-Cola Consolidated, and Osprey Initiative. The program will create local green jobs while protecting the environment.
"In the past, our creeks were something that we weren't proud of, that we capped and covered and didn't give people access to," said City Council Member Larken Egleston. "Now, we want to make sure that people can come down and enjoy the natural habitats that streams create. And these Litter Gitters will help make sure streams are beautiful for the animals that live there and for the people that recreate along our creeks and along our greenways."
Once litter is removed from waterways, recyclable material will be sorted out and recycled. In addition to collecting and removing materials from the waterways, this pilot program will gather data and find sustainable solutions for the future using the materials gathered by the Litter Gitters.
The devices will be cleaned weekly and after heavy rains in the area, if needed. Osprey Initiative will employ a number of local personnel to maintain the traps, creating green jobs in the area.