'It's time to stop': 700 bags of trash pulled from Buffalo Bayou each week

Charly Edsitty Image
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Group urging Houstonians to keep trash out of Buffalo Bayou
The Buffalo Bayou Partnership says between 700 and 900 bags of trash is cleaned out of the bayou every week.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There's a desperate plea for Houstonians to clean up their trash and limit their use of plastic.

"How did all of this trash get here?" asked the Buffalo Bayou Partnership organization in a post shared on Instagram Tuesday. "From roadways, highways, storm drains and littering, any piece of loose trash you see makes its way down the bayous."

Buffalo Bayou, over the years, has become a giant trash can for the city of Houston.

If items like plastic bottles or styrofoam cups aren't properly disposed, there's a chance it might end up in Buffalo Bayou.

"I would make jokes that I've found everything except the kitchen sink," joked David Rivers, also known as 'Bayou Dave.' "When I actually saw the kitchen sink on the banks, I knew I had seen it all."

For the past 10 years, Rivers has floated the bayou's waters, and said he's seen it all.

The Buffalo Bayou Partnership said about 60 cubic feet of trash is cleaned out of the bayou every week. They say that's between 700 and 900 bags of trash.

Here's how it happens:

It all begins with heavy rains pouring to storm drains clogged with litter.

"When that rain happens, it all gets spit out into the bayou," said Rivers. "From different canals and creeks and other bayous. They dump directly into Buffalo Bayou."

That trash is eventually destined for the ocean, but that's where Rivers and two crews step in to do what they can to clear it all out for the sake of keeping Houston beautiful, but also to keep that plastic from eventually winding up in our bodies, through consumed fish.

"Its time to stop, because we've already made it to the point of no return," said Rivers. "So, we have to do something about it. On the bayou, we feel like failure is not an option."

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