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Trash Collection Devices Nets 32 Tons Of Garbage From Jordan River

NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah – In recent years, there’s been a lot of worldwide attention focused on plastic pollution and its impact on the environment.  Right now, a trash boom set across the Jordan River is collecting plenty of plastic, and a lot more.  One year ago, the Nature Conservancy in Utah and Salt Lake County installed a boom to collect trash on the surface of the river, and the tonnage removed from the water is stunning.


“It’s been overwhelming, how successful it’s been,” said Chris Brown, Director of Stewardship for the Nature Conservancy in Utah.


The bright red boom is positioned across the Jordan River not far from the Davis and Salt Lake County line.  It collects surface trash as the water heads for Farmington Bay.  The boom currently contains a large volume of garbage. The river flows through the Legacy Nature Preserve in this area. The nature conservancy took ownership several years ago.


“It’s just been such a huge issue along the Jordan River for as long as I can remember,“ said Brown, overlooking the river, and the garbage.  “The amount of debris that this has caught in just this last year is incredible.“


Since the boom was installed a year ago, Salt Lake County has hauled off 32 tons of garbage, diverting it from the wetlands around the lake.  They shovel out the garbage, and take it to the landfill every month or two.


“Of any of the projects we’ve done, this is one that was a home run from the get go,“ said Brown.  “It helps the community because it helps get all of this junk out of here. Otherwise, this was all just getting flushed to the Great Salt Lake. So, it was a mess.”


The boom helps improve water quality in Farmington Bay and the Great Salt Lake, and wildlife habitat for a variety of species.


“The big thing is we just don’t know what’s in some of these bottles,” he said. “There’s a very large container right there that obviously says ‘cleaner’…. But, what kind of cleaner it is or what’s in there, we don’t know. So, at least, it’s helping with water quality if nothing else.“


There are even some treasures in the midst of the trash.


“From soccer balls, and containers, to tennis balls, to tires, styrofoam, coffee mugs. You name it, it’s in here,” said Brown.


We spotted a car seat, and railroad ties… all floating in the midst of a lot of plastic bottles and green waste.  Salt Lake County put up $290,000 for the project, improving the landing to facilitate garbage removal.


“When they come in and clean this up, they’re bringing in those big industrial dumpsters and they’re hauling them out full.“

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