Kitty litter being dumped at Pony Pasture: ‘It’s so toxic to the river’

Richmond

'It's a very unusual situation'

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — For close to a year, the James River Park System has been on the hunt for whoever is throwing plastic bags of kitty litter along Riverside Drive in Pony Pasture. 

“And it’s hidden by our beautiful Pawpaw trees and some poison ivy, so that’s just another obstacle for us to remove this from our park system,” James River Park System superintendent Bryce Wilk explained. 

Neighbors alerted Wilk almost a year ago that someone was disposing of pet waste along Riverside Drive. 

“It leeches into our water,” Wilk said.  “All pet waste creates about 15 percent of bacteria that’s in our waterways. And it’s something that we want to try and eliminate.”

Wilk and the park system installed cameras in the area, but the footage hasn’t caught the culprit in the act. 

Wilk encourages folks to dispose of their waste by using one of the dumpsters Pony Pasture offers in its parking lot. 

“Within the park system, we do recycling and trash as much as we can,” Wilk added. “We encourage ‘leave no trace’ and ‘carry in, carry out’ type policies, but we do have those available if you cannot do that.”

City councilwoman Kristen Larson has also gotten involved. 

“It’s a very unusual situation,” said Larson. “When I see that I’m discouraged and somewhat overwhelmed.”

“What they’re dumping is so toxic to the river. We really just want to solve this problem” — Richmond City Councilwoman Kristen Larson

Larson reminds folks not only does the dumping pose a health risk, but it’s also illegal. Unlawful dumping carries a fine of $250-$2500. 

“If you need assistance in finding a place to dump your cat litter we can help you,” Larson said. “But please stop dumping it in our parks.” 

Kristen Larson’s can be reached in her office at (804) 646-5646 or via email at Kristen.Larson@richmondgov.com.

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