Down by the Ohio River ... a sea of trash

Updated: Apr. 6, 2018 at 9:21 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Next time you think of littering, remember it all has to go somewhere.

"Coolers, Styrofoam cups, there's got to be thousands of plastic bottles, beer cans, basketballs, I think there's a drain pipe over there," said Price Hill resident Matt Trokan as he looks out at Mill Creek, where plenty of trash has been piling up.

Mill Creek stretches 28 miles from the border of Butler County, south through Hamilton County to the Ohio River. When people litter, the trash is primarily transported to Mill Creek via sewers and roads. Mill Creek is tributary of the Ohio River and the trash can be carried out through the river, where it washes up on the banks or is carried farther downstream.

Sierra Club Conservation Coordinator Matt Trokan says the trash can eventually end up in the ocean.

"We can't ignore problems like this. There's going to be as much plastic in the ocean as there are fish," he said.

Mill Creek is water of the state, meaning no one actually owns it. The closest entity over it is the Mill Creek Conservancy District which owns some land adjoining the creek. There's also a non-profit organization, Mill Creek Alliance, which works to take care of our waterways.

FOX19 reached out to both groups multiple times this week for comment and is waiting to hear back.

"If the river wasn't high and dammed up right now, all this would be floating into Ohio (River) then into the Mississippi (River) and then into the ocean," said Trokan.

Trokan says if you would like to see a change in environmental legislation contact your state representative.

"We need to make products that are disposable, compostable, and put bans or fees on things like plastic bags," said Trokan.

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