Trash and debris in nature and in local waterways come from the local population and are usually the result of improper clean-up and a lack of accumulation prevention in the community. When trash is left to blow around in the weather, it will usually end up being washed into waterways and drainage systems, where it will remain and often cause excessive clogging and wildlife destruction.

However, with some good planning and a clean-up project, you and others in the community can make a difference to keep the local waterways clean and beautiful. Here are some recommendations you can use to help keep the local waterways clean and free of trash and excessive debris.

Plan or Participate in a Waterway Cleanup

Now is the perfect opportunity to look into participating in a waterway cleanup event or planning and hosting your own event because spring is on the horizon. In late spring the water levels in the waterways will drop after the spring runoff has passed, leaving any trash deposited in the waterway easier to access. During this time of year, the vegetation has not begun to grow in thickly so it is easier to find trash and get into areas around the waterway, which will usually become overgrown and thick during the summer. 

Select a waterway that has plenty of trash that needs picking up to make it easier for everyone to improve the area with trash collection. However, you may not want to choose a fast-flowing river or canal because it will be a danger to your participants.

You will need trash bags and a disposal service, such as a rented dumpster. Be sure the dumpster is positioned close to the waterway or provide transportation to the disposal site because wet trash can be quite heavy. If you don't want to host your own, look for an opportunity in your community to clean up your local waterways, which usually occur nationally at the beginning of March. 

Use Property Prevention Strategies

In addition to cleaning the local waterways, you can take some steps to keep the trash out of the waterways in the first place. Be sure to pick up trash in your yard or along the street before it has a chance to wash down the gutters and drains into the waterways. Keep your yard's leaves and lawn trimming swept up and away from the street curb in your yard.

Look at installing permeable pavement or collecting roof water runoff in a dry well or rain barrel in your yard. This will reduce the amount of precipitation that flows from the pavement and into the city gutter drains and reduces the amount of debris flow. For more information, contact a waterway cleanup service.