- Benjamin E. Murphy, PE
The Trash Bins at the Intersection of Colfax and Broadway
Despite there being approximately eight permanent trash bins located along the 300 foot stretch of Colfax Avenue between Lincoln and Broadway in downtown Denver, almost 1,000 lbs of trash have been collected from the storm sewer inlets in less than 4 months. Full sets of ceramic dinner plates, loaded guns, fast food wrappers, umbrellas, and thousands of cigarette butts are just some of the items pulled from the five storm inlets located near the site. All this garbage, like their filthy ancestors over the past 50+ years, would have traveled directly downstream, through the sewers, directly into Cherry Creek. However, through an effort being led by the Greenway Foundation, this refuse is being pulled from the inlets and redirected to a landfill.
The Greenway Foundation has been working with the City of Denver and partnering with Frog Creek Partners, LLC to install a proprietary device called the Gutter Bin™ in storm inlets across Denver, including at this location near the steps of the Capital building, in hopes of diverting some of the refuse that is currently contaminating waters across the state.
The Gutter Bin™ is inserted into existing storm inlets where flows are directed through a catchment/filtration bag, known as the Mundus Bag™. The Mundus Bag™ collects trash and sediment while allowing water to pass through and into the storm sewer system. In larger storm events, flows bypass the Mundus Bag™ through an adjustable overflow, to enter the storm system unimpeded. The bags can be fully removed from the system where they can then be weighed, discarded/recycled, and replaced with a new bag. Because most of the storm drainage system in Denver is untreated on its pathway to drainageways, the Gutter Bin™ provides a low-cost alternative to removing some major pollution contributors in the city.
The Gutter Bin™, of course, is not the perfect solution to the pollution problem in our waterways, but it takes a large step toward preventing additional plastics and other contaminants from exacerbating the existing problem. Frog Creek Partners is also a relatively young company, being in existence for only 2 years, but they continue to push forward with new technologies to improve their filtration media, simplify installation, and expediate maintenance abilities. Frog Creek Partners, LLC is also currently pursuing opportunities to have their systems tested by laboratories to quantify percent removals of sediment and potentially petroleum products.
Read more about the Gutter Bin™ at the link below: