(WWLP) – The Connecticut River Stormwater Committee is advising residents to properly dispose unwanted trash after noticing an increased of litter in local water ways.
In an email to 22News, the committee, which is a coalition of local officials across the Pioneer Valley, said they’ve discovered an increase presence of disposable protective gloves, alcohol nip bottles and pet waste littered on the ground and thrown in municipal storm drains.
According to the committee, the trash creates more work for already strained Public Works operations and will lead to far more water pollution as these items wash into nearby rivers and streams with the next rainfall.
“We are seriously concerned by the amount of littered bottles, gloves and bags we’re finding,” said Connecticut River Stormwater Committee lead convener and Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Principal Environmental Planner Patty Gambarini. “The bottom line is we want folks to remember that what they ditch on the street or at the park now may be what they’re fishing, boating, and swimming in come summer time.”
The committee is reminding the public that catch basins (those drains you see on many local roads) are not for trash disposal and that they often lead directly to that community’s waterways.
“As we think about it these things will wash into our storm drains and out to our rivers and streams with storms like today and we don’t want to be fishing, boating or swimming in that later in the season when it does warm up when we’re outside even more,” said Gambarini.
The increase in nip bottle litter is believed to be a result of people consuming more alcohol. And the pet waste increase is attributed to more people walking their dogs during the ongoing pandemic.