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Fenty Unveils First in Western Hemisphere Trash Removal System for Anacostia River

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Media Contact: Alan Heymann (202) 741-2136

Washington, DC – Mayor Adrian M. Fenty today unveiled an innovative device, called the Bandalong Litter Trap, that the District is testing to remove trash from the Anacostia River. The trap, tested and used successfully for more than 10 years in Australia and Asia, is the first of its kind installed by a municipality in the Western Hemisphere.

“The Anacostia River is a national treasure,” said Mayor Fenty. “We hope the installation of this litter trap will help the District continue down the path of letting all residents and visitors swim, boat and fish in the Anacostia by 2032. It will also help us meet our regulatory responsibilities.”

The new Bandalong Litter Trap is a major step in fulfilling the Mayor’s Green DC Agenda ( commitment to the restoration of Anacostia. The first step was developing a plan; the ‘Anacostia River Trash Reduction Plan’ is available in its entirety on the DDOE website. It includes a systematic assessment of the types of trash in the river.

The Bandalong Litter Trap is a passive device, working 365 days a year using only the water’s natural current to collect litter. A patented gate contains litter inside the trap when flow is reversed in tidal areas. The Bandalong is safe for fish, waterfowl, and other aquatic wildlife. At Watts Branch, the Earth Conservation Corps will maintain the trap and remove trash from it.

“We’ve already developed a report on what kind of trash ends up in the Anacostia,” said DDOE Director George S. Hawkins. “As we work with our residents and the neighboring jurisdictions to keep the trash out of the river in the first place, the next step is to remove what makes its way downstream.”

Storm Water Systems of Cleveland, Georgia installed the Bandalong trap on Watts Branch, the Anacostia’s largest tributary in the District, at a cost of approximately $55,000. The District Department of the Environment (DDOE), Earth Conservation Corps and Anacostia Riverkeeper are testing the device as part of a two-year study of various trash-reduction technologies.

“What we see at work today is a community with a shared vision and commitment to a clean Anacostia River.  Storm Water Systems is proud to be part of this effort,” said Gary Hopkins, President of Storm Water Systems.

The Bandalong is installed in many locations in Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Victoria and Fremantle, as well as New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.