An Australian city has successfully piloted a simple solution for keeping their water sources free of trash and plastic pollution – and they hope that other towns will start doing the same thing.
Kwinana, a city of roughly 39,000 people, attached nets to two large drainage pipes located in residential areas back in March.
With rainwater carrying pieces of rubbish into the drainage pipes and out to the Henley Reserve, the community hoped that the nets might help to catch some of the litter before it reached the wildlife reserve.
To their delight, the nets worked spectacularly. Over the course of four months, the nets managed to catch 815 pounds (370 kilograms) of trash that would have otherwise ended up in the water.
No animals have gotten trapped in the nets since they were installed, and all of the biowaste that ends up getting collected with the trash is taken to a recycling facility that turns the loose leaves and twigs into fertilizer.
The nets cost Kwinana just under $20,000, which included the cost of design, manufacture, installation and associated civil works. Since city workers were previously required to collect the rubbish scattered around the reserve by hand, the strategy was also proven to be surprisingly cost-effective.
“After seeing the nets in action in other local government areas, the City determined the net to be the most cost-effective and safest option over other methods which can be up to four times the cost per unit and are sealed and submerged structures,” said Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams in a statement.
The city made a Facebook post about the success of their environmental initiative, and within two days, it had gone viral and reached over 2 million people around the world.
“The success of the post with over 27k shares, 92k likes and 13k loves in just 48 hours from people all over the world, just goes to show how important it is for government at all levels to really start to focus on environmental initiatives such as these and realize that small actions can have big impacts,” said Mayor Adams.
Kwinana plans on setting aside room in their 2019 city budget to implement more net fixtures across the city. They also hope that their community-based efforts will inspire other communities around the world to take similar action on a grassroots level.
(WATCH a quick clip of city workers with the nets below) – Photo by City of Kwinana
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