Volunteers Needed to Remove Litter in West Hillsborough

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019
Volunteers Needed to Remove Litter in West Hillsborough
Volunteers are shown removing trash from Bellvue Branch Creek in late 2017. The town's Stormwater and Environmental Services Division is asking for volunteers to remove litter around the creek in March.

Updated Feb. 6 at 3:45 p.m.: An earlier version of this news release gave an incorrect date for the workday.

The Hillsborough Stormwater and Environmental Services Division will host a volunteer workday from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 16.

The litter cleanup will focus on the town’s right of way near the intersection of Benton Street and South Bellvue Avenue. Volunteers will remove trash, litter and debris from an area near what has historically been referred to as Bellvue Branch Creek.

“Litter is one of our target pollutants identified in our stormwater management program,” said Hillsborough Stormwater and Environmental Services Manager Terry Hackett. “As litter decomposes, it can leach harmful chemicals into waterbodies. This is why litter cleanups are so important. We can remove trash and debris before it reaches the Eno River.”  

Besides lowering water quality, litter is a hazard to animals that may become entangled in it or mistake it for food, getting it lodged in their digestive systems. Litter also lowers quality of life and damages the economy by driving away tourists and businesses.

Participants should dress for the weather and wear closed-toe shoes. The town will provide gloves, safety vests, bug spray, sunscreen, trash grabbers and trash bags.

To volunteer, contact Hackett by email or at 919-296-9621.

The cleanup is part of a larger project to study water quality impacts of the land draining to Bellvue Branch. Environmental science students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are currently working on a watershed study for this area as part of a capstone project. Hillsborough Stormwater and Environmental Services staff are providing guidance for the study, results of which will be available this spring. The study will help town stormwater staff identify other projects that can be implemented in the Bellvue Branch watershed to reduced stormwater runoff pollution.