Purpose of the device floating in the Reedy River in Greenville

Question: I cross the Reedy River daily via the Mauldin Bridge and Parkins Mill Road. I saw some sort of device in the middle of the river. It appears that the device is collecting debris that flows into the river. My question is what is this device and its purpose. Does it help to monitor the water quality of the river?

Reply: The device is a Bandalong litter trap and it is used in waterways to collect and hold floating waste, vegetation and other debris which can then be removed.

Greenville devices belong to Renewable water resources (ReWa) and a pilot project, ReWa communications manager Chad Lawson said in an email.

It was strategically placed near the Mauldin Road Bridge, across from ReWa’s headquarters to assess public visibility, he said, although a final location for the Bandalong has not been determined.

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“The trap is a great opportunity to bring attention to the problem of litter in our waterways and for the community to visibly see how much litter the trap is collecting,” Lawson said.

The trap was installed on May 26, 2021. It measures 5ft x 13ft with two 10ft collection ramps and weighs approximately 600 lbs. It’s constructed from aluminum and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), Lawson said.

There is no net underneath and therefore aquatic life and wildlife are not affected by the trap.

The trap is anchored in place and foams the surface of the water to collect waste, Lawson said, and it guides floating debris into the trap where it can then be removed.

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“In one cleaning (we cleaned it more than once), ReWa collected 443 pieces of plastic, 362 pieces of foam, 29 pieces of metal, 7 paper products, 16 pieces of glass, 3 chemicals, 2 pieces of large debris, 9 containers of medical waste and 117 miscellaneous wastes, “Lawson said. This particular cleanup resulted in the removal of 988 wastes from the Reedy River on this occasion.

In Mobile, Alabama, a Bandalong trap collected 525 cubic meters of debris, or about 50 dump truck loads in its first year of operation, Lawson said.

There are over 300 Bandalong litter traps installed around the world. The one in Greenville is among only 23 in the United States, Lawson said.

Greenville News reporter Angelia Davis.

Have a question you want answered? Email it to me at [email protected] or mail it to Angelia Davis, 32 E. Broad St., Greenville, SC 29601.

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