In an effort to combat floating trash in the Hillsborough River, the city of Tampa will launch its new garbage boat this weekend, named “Little Skimmer.”
According to the City of Tampa, Little Skimmer will be operated by the Solid Waste Department and will pick up trash eight hours a day, four days a week, along the river and around the Davis Islands and bay.
The boat is part of Mayor Jane Castor’s “Keep It Clean, Tampa” initiative, which also includes a citywide trash cleanup this Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Cheney Park, Borrell Park, Gadsden Park and Grant Park.
Single-use plastic is Little Skimmer’s number one enemy, claims the city. “The main contributors to marine debris are single-use or disposable plastic products, including container caps and lids, beverage bottles, plastic bags, food packaging, cups, plates, cutlery and drinking straws, a statement on the city’s website says, “Single-use plastic utensils and containers threaten marine environments because they do not break down or break down completely.”
At this time, it is unclear if the City of Tampa plans to operate Little Skimmer north of the Hillsborough River Dam, which is located in the low-income area of Sulfur Springs and is also home to the processing facility for city water, where 90% of the inhabitants obtain their drinking water.
Creative Loafing Tampa Bay has contacted the city for clarification and will update this post if they respond.