Community college students meet the Kinston trash trap

Environmental, Litter-Free Rivers, Neuse River Watershed, Sound Rivers, Stormwater Issues, Volunteer, Volunteers, Water Quality

Posted on February 29th, 2024

Lenoir Community College biology students take a close look at litter pulled from Adkin Branch in Kinston.

Sound Rivers Volunteer Coordinator Emily Fritz and Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop hosted Lenoir Community College students for a trash trap cleanout this week.

“This was the fourth cleanout that we have done in partnership with the Lenoir Community College, and we plan to keep this program going,” Sam said.

Students from biology instructor Maria Messner’s class met up with Sound Rivers at Adkin Branch in Kinston on Wednesday, where they emptied the passive litter trap of about nine pounds of garbage.

“One thing that we noticed is just how much cleaner the whole area has been looking since we installed the trash trap,” Emily said. “The trap is doing an awesome job of channeling all of the litter into one place, and the surrounding area just looks more beautiful and natural.”

The Kinston trash trap was the fourth trash trap installed on waterways in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico, and is part of Sound Rivers’ Litter-Free Rivers program. Others are located on Jack’s Creek in Washington, Duffyfield Canal in New Bern and Little Rock Creek on the grounds of the Walnut Creek Wetland Center in Raleigh. A fifth trash trap is slated to be installed on a Tar River tributary in Greenville in March, and several others are in the works for the Raleigh area.

Of the trash retrieved Wednesday in Kinston were those items seen quite often in the traps, including plastic bottles and fast food containers. But there are always a few unusual finds — this time, a bottle of body butter, a basketball and mini liquor bottles.

One unique find was this little snail.

In addition to introducing Lenoir Community College students Kyle Figueroa, Josue Garcia-Lopez, Mary-Helen Medlin, Sheila Santiago-Alejo and Lyset Valle-Vallejo to Sound Rivers’ trash trap, they also got a demonstration of sampling water for bacteria and looked at basic parameters using the YSI water-quality meter to get a sense of general creek health.

Are you interested in volunteering with our Litter-Free Rivers program? Then email Volunteer Coordinator Emily Fritz at!

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