Provided by Prince William County
In just over a year, the Bandalong floating on Neabsco Creek has gathered 16,476 pieces of trash that otherwise would have flowed into the Neabsco Estuary, downstream wetlands, the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.
In 20 cleanups since January 2022, the Bandalong has collected and filled more than 65 trash bags with debris. It has also collected:
- 5,465 pieces of degraded plastic foam and beads less than 2.5 centimeters.
- 4,214 plastic foam carryout containers and pieces of containers greater than 2.5 centimeters.
- 3,553 single-use plastic bottles.
Other trash the Bandalong intercepted includes cigarette butts and cigarette lighters, toy balls, plastic food containers, plastic shopping bags, plastic straws, clothing and shoes, fishing gear and more.
In the most recent cleanup, volunteers cleaned over 1,000 pieces of plastic foam, 302 plastic bottles, toys, aluminum cans and food wrappers from the Bandalong.
People who pay attention to the trash in the creek, wetlands and estuary have noticed a difference in the amount of trash they see in the area.
“The installation of the Bandalong has made a huge difference,” said Prince William Soil and Water Conversation District Water Quality Programs Manager Veronica Tangiri, who organizes volunteer cleanups in the area. “The cleanup event last fall saw less trash. This spring, no cleanup event has been organized in the area.”
Micron Technology, a semiconductor manufacturing firm with a plant in Manassas, donated $300,000 to purchase, install and maintain the Bandalong for one year.
“This project aligns with Micron’s sustainability goals and reflects Micron’s commitment to supporting our communities,” according to a Micron Technology, Inc. statement. “Micron is pleased that the Bandalong is effectively removing trash from Neabsco Creek and providing a positive impact on the community and watershed.”
Cooperation between organizations that include the Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Micron Technologies, the Prince William County Service Authority, the Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition, the Woodbridge-Potomac Communities Civic Association, along with the volunteers makes the Bandalong work.
“We’re very pleased that this public-private, nonprofit and volunteer partnership has worked out,” said Tim Hughes, an environmental specialist with the Prince William County Public Department of Public Works.