The City of Kwinana’s ‘trash traps’ are a simple method to stop rubbish from entering mainstream waterways.

The City of Kwinana, a suburb of Perth, Australia first installed its trash traps in 2018. Today they’re a common sight across the city and their success make you wonder why more locations aren’t adopting this simple solution.

In March 2018, two nets were installed at the piped drainage outlets in the Henley Nature Reserve, Leda. In the first year of installation the nets had caught and removed 1.6 tonnes of waste. Following this success, the city installed a further three drainage nets during the 2019/20 financial year across the city.

“The nets are placed on the outlet of two drainage pipes, which are located between residential areas and natural areas. This allows the nets to capture the gross pollutants carried by stormwater from the local road network before those pollutants are discharged and contaminate the natural environment at the downstream end of the outlet area,” Mayor Adams explained in an early statement. “This ensures that the habitat of the local wildlife is protected and minimises the risk of wildlife being caught in the nets.” 

Once the nets fill up, city employees use a machine to lift them up and empty them into a truck. The waste is then taken to a sorting facility, where compostable waste (like food scraps and leaves) and recyclable items are sorted and disposed of correctly.

New Zealand’s decade of successful netting.

However, the City of Kwinana isn’t the only town to install nets. More than 10 years ago Nelson City in New Zealand installed a series of nets on its drainage systems. Today those nets are barely needed due to the changing attitudes of people and the way they dispose of waste.

Empty net, barely needed now in Nelson City

This poses the question – “Why aren’t more towns and cities worldwide adopting ‘trash traps’ to clean up their locations?”