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Cairns Regional Council Litter Booms - by Scott Paterson

Friday, June 14, 2019 12:32 PM | Lesley Van Staveren (Administrator)

In continuing efforts to protect our precious Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Regional Council has deployed 2 brand new litter boom units into Moody & Smith Creeks. 

Replacing older equipment, the new cutting edge $75,000 litter booms are designed to capture and retain all floating litter and debris regardless of tidal movement or varying water levels without impeding natural flow or endangering fish and wildlife. 

Litter doesn't only enter waterways via stormwater pipes, but can also be washed in to local creeks from nearby land.  This makes the implementation of such technology here in Far North Queensland so necessary given our proximity to the Great Barrier Reef.

How do these units actually work?

The litter, once directed into the boom ‘traps’ by normal flows, is able to be easily collected and removed by Council staff during servicing.  The performance floatable control technology operates continuously 365 days a year without any mechanical assistance to capture the floating debris and litter itself.

Constructed of aluminium and high density polyethylene (HDPE), the units are without nets or fencing underneath, allowing fish and wildlife to be unaffected. Anchors keep the booms stationary in Moody and Smith Creeks.

Cairns Regional Council staff are also comparing ongoing volumes of litter collected by volunteers in the same catchments as the booms have been deployed, to evaluate the equipment's effectiveness.

I think we can all be proud of the efforts and expertise of the CRC staff involved in bringing this project together, these units will no doubt continue to protect and improve the health and appearance of our local creeks and protect wildlife, but if residents really want to know the best way to keep the Great Barrier Reef litter free it's up to all of us to ensure that waste is disposed of correctly.  We really need to be reducing, reusing and recycling waste as much as possible, so that it completely avoids our waterways all together.


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