Trash Free Waters Toledo logo overtop of a Starting in 2021, the City of Toledo has led a project through US EPA’s Trash Free Waters program to install trash capture devices around Toledo’s waterways and raise awareness around marine debris. The City has recruited a team of community organizations – including us – to provide outreach and volunteer clean-ups alongside these trash trappers. Now in its second year, learn how things have been going!

Trash trapping device raise awareness by making the issue of marine debris more visible to the public. Sometimes the scale of marine debris is hidden when trash is dispersed across a waterway, but seeing trash in a device creates an opportunity for awareness to motivate action.

Currently, the City’s plan is to install devices in four general areas around Toledo to see how much and what types of trash are generated in particular spots. These areas were selected in order to compare trash across residential, commercial, and industrial areas, and because they are likely trash hot spots. Within these areas, 7 or 8 devices will be installed.

Although devices were removed during cold weather to avoid damage, some are back in our waterways already! So far in 2022, two trash trappers called “Brute Bins” have been installed: one in Swan Creek near Owens Corning Parkway, and the other near the corner of Stickney Avenue and Matzinger Road. So far, both bins have caught plenty of single-use plastic, in addition to some stranger items like kickballs balls, a tarp, and even a car tire.

We will continue to work with the City of Toledo and other partner organizations, including the University of Toledo, Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful, and Toledo Metropolitan Council of Governments to accomplish the goals of the project this year.

Learn more about Trash Free Waters on our website.