Start Trapping Trash in 2024

A sewer grate littered with trash.

Scientists estimate over 50 million metric tons of plastic waste will enter our water system by 2030. Property owners can take one simple step to help divert waste from reaching our waterways.

Everything that washes into our storm sewers has the potential to end up in our freshwater systems–the lakes, rivers, streams and creeks that flow through our watershed. In Mississauga, the storm sewer system drains into Lake Ontario, which is the source of the city’s drinking water. If you have a stormwater catch basin on your property, there’s an easy and cost-effective way you can help prevent harmful debris from entering our waterways. It’s called trash trapping and here’s how you can do it.

How to Trap Trash

Catch basin filter inserts are easily installed inside the catch basin. They’re designed to fit nearly all catch basin sizes and to collect general debris, like sediment, construction debris, or fine plastic particles up to 1 millimetre.

In 2024, Greening Corporate Grounds installed a catch basin at Headwaters Hospital in Orangeville to collect debris from parking lot runoff. We’ll be able to monitor its effectiveness and measure how much trash is diverted with the use of one catch basin filter. Enviropod offers site- and region-specific case studies of how catch basins helped Canadian municipalities, institutions and corporations divert trash from local watersheds.

A trash filter in a parking lot.
A LittaTrapTM filter is installed in a parking lot catch basin.  

460,000 Pounds of Trapped Trash

The International Trash Trap Network, a collaboration between the University of Toronto Trash Team and Ocean Conservancy, collects data from around the world on the amount and types of trash that are diverted from lakes, oceans and seas by trash trappers each year. In 2022, they recorded over 460,000 pounds of trash diverted from waterways. That’s two times the weight of a blue whale!

Here are the top 10 items they found:

  1. Cigarette butts
  2. Plastic beverage bottles
  3. Food wrappers
  4. Grocery bags
  5. Plastic foam
  6. Plastic fragments
  7. Plastic film
  8. Glass beverage bottles
  9. Fishing gear
  10. Paper and cardboard

Without the efforts of trash trappers, all this trash would’ve made it into our global waterways. This trash alters aquatic ecosystems, harms wildlife, and finds its way into our drinking water and food supply. Plastics are highly problematic because they don’t decompose–at least not in our lifetimes. With little maintenance and management, you can help keep our waterways clean and our drinking water safe by installing a catch basin filter on your property.

Other Trash Trapping Tools

Here are some other ways you can help keep trash out of our waterways:

  • Prepare a pollution prevention plan to help avoid hazardous spills and leaks.
  • Replace leaking dumpsters, ensure dumpsters are of adequate capacity for waste and keep them away from catch basins.
  • Provide cigarette disposal receptacles and closed trash cans.
  • Implement a paved area sweeping plan.
  • Obtain proper outdoor storage for landscape supplies and machinery.

Start Trash Trapping and Save

Greening Corporate Grounds (GCG) has partnered with the City of Mississauga to help Mississauga businesses manage stormwater, reduce pollution and save up to 50 per cent on their stormwater charge. Connect with GCG to arrange a free Sustainable Landscaping Assessment and Action Plan and discover which trash trapping actions are best suited to your business.

Connect with us today at [email protected].

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