Aug 25, 2021 - News
How Tampa is using data to better understand its trash
A "Litter Gitter" collects floating trash from a local waterway. Photo courtesy Tampa Bay Estuary Program

To keep trash out of our waterways, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program is trying to better understand ... the trash.

What's happening: With a federal grant, TBEP is deploying devices called Litter Gitters into local waterways so they can collect trash floating downstream, 83 Degrees reports.

  • Then they'll use something called the Escaped Trash Assessment Protocol to record the trash's data — things like the type of trash, the brand, the condition, time in the water.

The big idea is to create a comprehensive profile of the litter in particular regions — and since around 75% of land litter winds up in the water, the localized data will be hard evidence of the main trash producers in the area.

  • For example, are there loads of styrofoam cups from a particular fast food restaurant? Or cigar packaging from a particular brand?
  • When the data is collected, the plan is to appeal to the businesses making the trash to curb their trash production.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Tampa Bay stories

No stories could be found

Tampa Baypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more