Litter on the downtown levee leaves walkers worried

Photo provided by staff.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 7:00pm

Trash and debris sit along the river levee in Downtown Baton Rouge. Now people who work out on the levee said they're tired of looking at litter.

"I come out here regularly, and I enjoy the view I enjoy the sights. I enjoy the sounds," Javan Hamilton, regular walker at the levee, said. "It just kind of throws everything off. "

"I see a lot of driftwood, bottles, trash, fast food cups, and stuff like that," Bryson Murray, walks the levee, said.

Murray is concerned the large amount of litter could leave visitors with a bad impression of the city.

"They don't expect to see trash when they come up here. They expect to see the river and the levee and all the attractions," Murray described.
Others disagree.

"Right now we are in the low season, so you are seeing what is referred to as the "huskiness" of the river," Davis Rhorer, with the Downtown Development District, said.

Rhorer said seeing debris is normal because the river moves so swiftly.

"I think this is all part again of the seasonal ritual. It's low you come in there and you clean it up you move out the stuff. The water will eventually rise again and you will see the full effects of the river," Rhorer explained.

David Guillory, East Baton Rouge Department of Public Works director, explained the DPW is in charge of cleaning up along the river levee. He said city workers pick up driftwood along river structures once a year when the water gets low. He also explained crews empty the trash cans on top of the levee twice a week.

Some people say that's not enough.

"I would like to see better effort to pick stuff up. Maybe someone to enforce littering," Murray said.

"Baton Rouge is a developing city, but perception is everything. Any tiny little spec of trash can throw off people's perception of downtown. Do we really want to set up here. Who occupies these areas," Hamilton stated.

Guillory says he will send A cleaning crew to pick up litter around the levee first thing Wednesday morning.

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