Trash

You can help by reporting any trash or litter problem you see in Valdosta with Valdosta’s Click ‘n’ Fix smartphone app.

For trash or other problems elsewhere, here’s how to report: https://wwals.net/report/.

Strategy

Nobody wants trash in rivers, creeks, and springs. Cleanups are great, but don’t solve the problem.

[KFC in net]

WWALS is going upstream to try to stop trash at its sources: businesses that let trash escape their parking lots, and the companies that make all that single-use packaging. In between, we are sending grant applications for trash traps.

WWALS is addressing trash problems on the Alapaha River, mostly near Lakeland, Georgia, in Lowndes County, Georgia, and in Madison County Florida, among other places.

600x776 Figure 2.2.5. Sub-basins Areas, in Section 2 Methodology, by City of Valdosta, for WWALS.net, 14 January 2011

However, most of the trash problem in the Withlacoochee River is coming out of Valdosta, mainly out of Sugar Creek, into which drain Hightower Creek from St. Augustine Road; One Mile Branch from VLPRA HQ, Vallotton Park, Drexel Park, and VSU; and Two Mile Branch down from Bemiss Road, Ashley and Patterson Streets, and Joree Millpond. Some trash comes out of Threemile Branch down from Five Points and North Valdosta Road, and from Still House Branch from the Country Club. We haven’t yet checked Browns Canal or Cherry Creek.

Then there are the Creeks that drain into the Alapahoochee River to the Alapaha River: Dukes Bay Canal and Knights Creek, which both feed into Mud Swamp Creek before it joins the Alapahoochee.

Here is an overview of the problem, sources, and solutions:

Here’s the positive response we got from the Valdosta City Council to that strategy:

WWALS is following up with further communications with Valdosta to see what Mayor, Council, and Staff are going to do.

Tactics

Here are a few recent tactical successes.

Cleanups

Cleanups are great community-building exercises. But alone the only subsidize the upstream sources of the trash.

[Chairman and Mayor doing work]
Lowndes County Chairman and Valdosta Mayor doing work

Lowndes County, Georgia

There are problems elsewhere, down I-75, for example.

[Trash in water, No Dumping sign, trash where no fence]
Trash in water, No Dumping sign, trash where no fence

Madison County, Florida

  • 2021-09-04: Tires picked up by Elizabeth Reynolds, Graco Way. Madison County, Florida, Code Enforcement was already on it. Added contacts for MCCE to Report web page.

Pafford’s Landing, Alapaha River, Lakeland, Lanier County, GA

[Pafford's Landing, trash, Alapaha River, Marines, boat, bags, potholes]
Pafford’s Landing, trash, Alapaha River, Marines, boat, bags, potholes

Berrien Beach, Alapaha River Berrien County, GA

Sugar Creek: drains most of Valdosta, GA into the Withlacoochee River

[Tower of Trash]
Tower of Trash

Sugar Creek successes, driven by former WWALS Intern Bobby McKenzie with assistance from his family, Russell Allen McBride, Suzy Hall, Suwannee Riverkeeper, and others:

One Mile Branch: drains through Vallotton Park, Drexel Park, VSU, into Sugar Creek

[Ricardo St., Obama Ave, VLPRA HQ, One Mile Branch]
Ricardo St., Obama Ave, VLPRA HQ, One Mile Branch

Two Mile Branch

Drains Taylor-Cowart Park, across Bemiss Road, Seymour Street, University Drive, Ashley Street, VSU north campus, Patterson Street, McKey Park, North Oak Street, Berkley Drive, Joree Millpond, Jerry Jones Drive, into Sugar Creek.

Three Mile Branch: drains Five Points, Winn Dixie, and North Valdosta Road

[Threemile Branch, Trash, Country Club Drive]
Threemile Branch, Trash, Country Club Drive

Withlacoochee River

One of the goals is to keep the trash out of the Withlacoochee River. Trash booms to stop the trash from getting out of the creeks will mostly do that. But those won’t stop the creeks from being eyesores and health hazards for children and adults: more work is needed upstream about fast food outlets and parking lots.

In between: trash traps

[Bottles and cans, two types of trash traps]
Bottles and cans, two types of trash traps

Upstream parking lots: Hightower Creek

[Trash heap, St. Augustine Road, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River]
Trash heap, St. Augustine Road, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River

Higher up at the trash producers

[Suwannee Riverkeeper patrolling by Bobby McKenzie]
Suwannee Riverkeeper patrolling by Bobby McKenzie

You can help!

Report any trash or litter problem you see in Valdosta with Valdosta’s Click ‘n’ Fix smartphone app.

For trash or other problems elsewhere, here’s how to report: https://wwals.net/report/.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!