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City of Abilene innovating in litter control

By Ariana Garza, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Feb 19 2013 08:32:54 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2013 09:20:36 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

The city of Abilene is experimenting with a litter-catching system to keep area creeks clean.

Employees of the Stormwater Services Division devised the city’s first Litter Collection System approximately six months ago and recently finished installing it in a portion of Elm Creek at Reyes Flores Park near Bois D’Arc Street.

The system is designed to catch litter flowing into the creek from downtown Abilene storm drains. So far the system is a success and the city plans to install another one soon.

Another high-litter area is the portion of Catclaw Creek near the intersection of Southwest Drive and South Danville Drive. Nicole Eaves, Keep Abilene Beautiful and Stormwater Education Coordinator, said the litter flows in from the Shops of Abilene storm drains and gets worse during high winds.

“What we see is just a bunch of litter that has collected in the area from the blowing winds it moves the trash along with it,” Eaves said.

Eaves said several citizens have called in to report the area, but the city and Keep Abilene Beautiful need volunteers to sign up to the Adopt-a-Creek and Adopt-a-Street programs. Volunteers are provided with clean-up materials and are only required to clean four times a year whenever it is convenient for them. Organizations that volunteer are recognized with signage.

Ray Grothaus, board president of Keep Abilene Beautiful, said citizens need to be proactive.

“Abilene is all our town so we all have to take responsibility in the way it looks,” Grothaus said. “It's a constant battle. It doesn't help the aesthetics of our community to have the litter shown like it does. It definitely is a nuisance.”

To prevent the spread of trash, the Grothaus recommended citizens bag and tie their trash, keep their dumpster lids closed and avoid putting loose trash in their truck beds.

On April 6, Keep Abilene Beautiful is partnering with the city for a Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-off, a community-wide cleanup event. For more information, contact KAB at (325) 734-3301.

From April 11-13, KAB and the city are hosting Spring Clean at the Environmental Recycling Center at 2209 Oak Street to help citizens clean up their yards and garages.

To volunteer for the Adopt-A-Creek or Adopt-A-Street program, contact Nicole Eaves at nicole.eaves@abilenetx.com.