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Litterbugs to blame for buildup of debris in coulee

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jan 30, 2020

LAFAYETTE — Some are talking after last week's heavy rains left behind a mound of trash in a coulee in Lafayette.

The Bayou Vermilion District and Lafayette Consolidated Government oversee Coulee Mine.

Officials and neighbors along Hillside Drive say there's one easy solution to the trash.

"After it rains, after big events, like Mardi Gras, Festival International, when people are out on the streets, unfortunately, people don't always throw their trash," said Bayou Vermilion District CEO David Cheramie.

Some neighbors say the amount of litter that ends up in the water has gotten worse over the years.

"[It's] all the stuff that people just simply throw out their window and don't bother to keep it in the car until they get home and throw it in the trash," said Barbara Stevens.

As of Thursday, the dumpster on Hillside Drive was nearly full with trash and debris that had been collected from the coulee within the last week.

"We pull an equivalent of 30-yard dumpsters out of the bayou about 14 times a year or so," explained Cheramie.

The Bandalong, which can be seen in the water, catches anything that comes down the coulee, making cleanup easier and preventing the trash from flowing into the Vermilion River.

"Anything you can think of, we've pulled out of the bayou. It ends up in the drainage systems, and that's a big problem, also, because people are just not aware or just don't care," said Cheramie. "I think it's just a matter of education. I think people will care if they knew that throwing trash in the ground is wrong."

Efforts from the Bayou Vermilion District don't go unnoticed; however, some say the district can't keep the water clean without some help.

"Until people actually understand that this is Mother Earth, this is our home, would you do this at home? Try to pick up after yourself," said Stevens. "I even pick up my dog's poop."