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As part of the 35th Great Texas River Clean Up in March, volunteer Adrian Gomez uses a grabber to fish trash out of the river. Daily Record file photo

Parks Board considers can ban

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will consider recommending a prohibition of all disposable containers on the San Marcos River in their meeting Thursday night. 

Above are cans from a river cleanup in 2017. Daily Record photo by Toy Mendez

A disposable container ban or “Can Ban” currently exists in the neighboring City of New Braunfels as an ordinance largely intended to protect the river from litter and does not prohibit alcohol consumption on the river.

The New Braunfels ordinance prevents disposable containers like cans, plastic bags, cups, or plastic bottles from even entering the river. New Braunfels reinstated this ordinance after the Texas State Appeals Court ruled it was constitutional in May of 2017. The ordinance allows drinking on the river from non disposable containers like growlers and reusable cups. 

Comal River Operations Manager Amy Niles reported that the city saw a 70 percent decrease in the amount of litter being pulled out of the river through a scuba contract from 3070 pounds of litter in 2017, the last year before the disposable container ban was instated, to just 900 pounds of litter in 2019.

If the board approves, a recommendation resolution will be sent to the San Marcos City Council for consideration and could be brought forth as an ordinance. 

The meeting will include a presentation by Tom Goynes, president of the Texas Rivers Protection Association.

Public comments can be submitted before 12 p.m. on Sept. 17 to jcase@sanmarcostx.gov

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666