Local educators have learnt first-hand about preventing litter from entering oceans and waterways though the innovative Enviropod LittaTrap technology being trialled at stormwater sites outside of Te Wharau and Kaiti Schools recently. The award-winning LittaTraps are designed to be easily retrofitted into new and existing stormwater drains, placed inside a catch pit to capture and retain litter before it enters drainage systems and subsequently streams, rivers and oceans.
Last year the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) donated two LittaTraps to Gisborne District Council (GDC) to trial locally. GDC waste minimisation facilitator and regional Tairāwhiti Enviroschools coordinator Darnelle Timbs was keen to see the trial traps installed outside local schools so there could be an education component woven into the maintenance and monitoring of the LittaTraps.
“We were lucky to recently have Dr Amanda Valois, a freshwater ecologist from NIWA in Gisborne to deliver training on LittaTrap monitoring,” Ms Timbs said.
Teachers from Te Wharau and Gisborne Intermediate Schools, and the facilitators of Tairāwhiti Enviroschools, were shown how to register the trap sites with the Litter Intelligence programme and input the first set of data from the traps. Litter Intelligence is a long-term programme led by Sustainable Coastlines which collects litter data and provides valuable insights and solutions to litter issues.
The training day in Gisborne was the first of its kind outside Wellington, held in collaboration with NIWA, Council, Tairāwhiti Enviroschools, Sustainable Coastlines and Tairāwhiti Environment Centre.
“We’re looking forward to what else can come out of the connections made from this visit and training day,” Ms Timbs said.
“I’m also keen to explore what other initiatives we may be able to trial in Tairāwhiti to limit litter entering our environment through the stormwater system”
For more information on LittaTraps, visit Stormwater360
Or for further information on the Litter Intelligence programme.
Banner image: Litter audit at the Tairāwhiti Environment Centre: From left to right: Kirsty Gaddum, Dr Amanda Valois (NIWA), Shawn Elise Tierney (Sustainable Coastlines), Carla Fonseca Paris (Sustainable Coastlines)