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LittaTrap trials a lesson in prevention

Gisborne educators have learned firsthand about preventing litter from entering oceans and waterways though the innovative Enviropod LittaTrap technology being trialled at stormwater sites outside of Te Wharau and Kaiti schools.

The award-winning LittaTrap is designed to be easily retrofitted into new and existing stormwater drains — placed inside a catch pit to capture and retain litter before it enters drainage systems and subsequently streams, rivers and oceans.

Last year the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) donated two LittaTraps to Gisborne District Council to trial locally.

GDC waste minimisation facilitator and regional Tairawhiti Enviroschools coordinator Darnelle Timbs was keen to see the trial traps installed outside local schools so there could be an education component woven into the maintenance and monitoring of the LittaTraps.

“We were lucky to recently have Dr Amanda Valois, a freshwater ecologist from NIWA, in Gisborne to deliver training on LittaTrap monitoring,” Ms Timbs said.

“Teachers from Te Wharau and Gisborne Intermediate schools and the facilitators of Tairawhiti Enviroschools were shown how to register the trap sites with the Litter Intelligence programme and input the first set of data from the traps.”

Litter Intelligence is a long-term programme led by Sustainable Coastlines that collects litter data and provides valuable insights and solutions to litter issues.

The training day in Gisborne was the first of its kind outside Wellington and was held in collaboration with NIWA, GDC, Tairawhiti Enviroschools, Sustainable Coastlines and Tairawhiti Environment Centre.

“We're looking forward to what else can come out of the connections made from this visit and training day,” Ms Timbs said. “I'm also keen to explore what other initiatives we may be able to trial in Tairawhiti to limit litter entering our environment through the stormwater system”

• For more information on LittaTraps, go to the products section of the stormwater360.co.nz website. For further information on the Litter Intelligence programme, go to www.litterintelligence.org