Kinston trash trap gets its first clean-out

Environmental, Litter-Free Rivers, Neuse River Watershed, Sound Rivers, Water Quality

Posted on August 31st, 2023

Water Quality Specialist Taylor Register holds aloft one of the more perplexing trash trap finds.

Water Quality Specialist Taylor Register and Volunteer Coordinator Emily Fritz took to the water this week to clean out Sound Rivers’ newest trash trap ahead of Tropical Storm Idalia.

The trash trap — the fourth in Sound Rivers’ Litter-Free Rivers program — was installed on Adkin Branch in Kinston on Aug. 6, and its first clean-out yielded surprisingly little trash.

“There wasn’t a ton of it. We filled up two bags about halfway. There were the standard bottles and fast-food containers, but we did find a lot of tiny pieces of plastic, shattered plastic. We don’t typically find that in a trash trap, so we were wondering where that came from,” Emily said.

One interesting, and quite unusual, trash trap find had Taylor and Emily brainstorming how it came to be floating down an urban waterway.

“We found a whole coconut floating in in the trash trap, which was very strange. We were trying to come up with a story as to how it got here,” Emily laughed.

The relative lack of trash could be attributed to the lack of rain eastern North Carolina has seen this summer. However, that ended with the Thursday arrival of Idalia, which brought plenty of rain to the area. If conditions are safe on Friday, Emily, Taylor and a few volunteers will be revisiting the trash trap to see how it fared, and perhaps give it another clean-out. 

The trash trap on Adkin Branch collecting trash from the urban waterway in Kinston. Notice how there’s no trash downstream of the device.

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