A usual crowd of families and drunken tubers packed the cold waters of the Comal River last Saturday. While most people had fun this Independence Day weekend, some tubers and river rats were grossed out by the amount of litter in the river, and a recent report by the City of New Braunfels helps justify those thoughts.
The report shows litter in the river had increased by 438 percent over 2013 and by 356 percent over 2012.
A recent surge in the amount of litter in the river comes after the city lifted the contentious “Can Ban,” that prevented tubers from bringing beer cans and other throw-away food and beverage containers on sections of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers within New Braunfels’ city limits.
Following a lawsuit by local tubing and tourism firms, the ban was lifted in March by a judge who decided it was unconstitutional and ordered the city to stop enforcing it.
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung reported divers recovered 242 pounds of trash over the Memorial Day weekend. On the same weekend last year, divers extracted 45 pounds.
Tubers on the river can make use of trash and recycling bins located along sections of the Comal and Guadalupe and/or utilize mesh trash bags that can be tied to tubes and emptied after exiting the river.
There’s also a "Keep New Braunfels Clean Comal River Clean Up" starting Monday that’s still accepting volunteers. Registration for the cleanup will begin at 10 a.m. at the Float In at the City Tube Chute on the Comal. For additional information about the event, visit the Greater Comal County Area Hospitality and Visitors Association (HAVA) website at www.havanb.org or www.facebook.com/havanb.