Trash in Comal on the rise after ‘can ban’ is lifted

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (KXAN) — Officials in New Braunfels say new data shows the impact of their now illegal ‘can ban.’

A judge ruled the city’s ban on disposable food containers unconstitutional.

During the ban, tubing companies along the Comal and Guadalupe rivers argued the limitations hurt their business.

City leaders are still fighting to clean up the rivers and started releasing how much litter they picked up.

According to city estimates, SCUBA divers in the city limits picked up 313 pounds of litter from the Comal River in the week after Fourth of July. The number was about five times higher than the same weeks in 2012 and 2013, when the ban was in effect. However, the amount was about a quarter of what it was during that week in 2011, the summer before the ban.

SCUBA Chart

The Comal also saw an 84 percent increase in trash removed from the river from March to June 2014, compared to the same period last year.

Trash and Litter Chart

The city pays a diver nearly $1,600 for each weekly dive between May and September. He also does one dive in April and in October. City officials said they can save money by cutting back on the number of dives if trash amounts are low.

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