trashing the bayou

Experts warn that littering Houstonians are damaging Buffalo Bayou

Experts warn that littering Houstonians are damaging Buffalo Bayou

Buffalo Bayou rainbow
Experts say more than 700 bags of trash are pulled from the bayou each week. Buffalo Bayou Partnership/Facebook

There's a desperate plea for Houstonians to clean up their trash and limit their use of plastic.

"How did all of this trash get here?" asked the Buffalo Bayou Partnership organization in a post shared on Instagram on June 11. "From roadways, highways, storm drains, and littering, any piece of loose trash you see makes its way down the bayous."

Buffalo Bayou, over the years, has become a giant trash can for the city of Houston. If items like plastic bottles or styrofoam cups aren't properly disposed, there's a chance it might end up in Buffalo Bayou.

"I would make jokes that I've found everything except the kitchen sink," jokes David Rivers, also known as 'Bayou Dave.' "When I actually saw the kitchen sink on the banks, I knew I had seen it all."

For the past 10 years, Rivers has floated the bayou's waters, and said he's seen it all.

The Buffalo Bayou Partnership said about 60 cubic feet of trash is cleaned out of the bayou every week. They say that's between 700 and 900 bags of trash.

Here's how it happens:

It all begins with heavy rains pouring to storm drains clogged with litter.

"When that rain happens, it all gets spit out into the bayou," says Rivers. "From different canals and creeks and other bayous. They dump directly into Buffalo Bayou."


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