Filtering through the trash for cleaner waterways

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Litter Traps in Mackay to clean up waterwaysIn December 2015, forty-one litter basket Gross Pollutant Traps (GPT’s) were installed in Mackay’s CBD aimed at reducing rubbish and organic matter at stormwater drainage points, preventing it from entering Mackay’s Pioneer River.

Targeted contaminants include wrappers, food packaging, aluminium cans, plastic bags and cigarette butts. This kind of litter, left unchecked, has the potential to damage and disrupt our valuable aquatic ecosystems.

Mackay Regional Council engineer Roberto Da Silva developed an innovative, litter-catching device that will improve the health of Mackay’s waterways and marine environment. The litter baskets were specifically designed for Mackay’s water network and were installed below the road invert where rubbish that would otherwise flow into our waterways is netted in a filter mesh lining.

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.

This project is a joint initiative of Mackay Regional Council and Reef Catchments, through funding from the Australian Government Reef Programme.

View the report on Gross Pollutant Traps in Mackay

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