In A Flash

New LSU Litter Institute aims to become trash abatement knowdlege hub

By: - October 31, 2023 3:21 pm
LSU’s Memorial Tower

LSU’s Memorial Tower on Monday, March 20, 2023, on Tower Drive in Baton Rouge. (Matthew Perschall for Louisiana Illuminator)

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the creation of a new LSU Litter Institute, which will support debris abatement projects and centralize knowledge on the issue. 

“I believe it is gonna provide a blueprint for us … not just us in Louisiana,” Edwards said. “Because … as we were studying what we should do in Louisiana, we realized that there really isn’t a thing like a litter institute anywhere in the country and very few, if any, anywhere in the world.” 

The institute, funded by an $800,000 appropriation from the state, will fall under LSU’s Office of Research and Economic Development. It will work to connect hundreds of existing litter abatement programs across the state that currently operate independently. 

The institute also aims to host an international litter abatement conference in Louisiana. 

The institute will complement LSU’s related litter reduction endeavors, including a watershed trash abatement project at the Burden Center that received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency last year, to minimize plastic waste at Mardi Gras and research on microplastics. 

“We’re going to make litter something that is universally understood by taking knowledge from around the world, from the states that have different practices, different metrics and measuring, and our own work at LSU and build a first-class LSU Litter Institute,” said Robert Twilley, the university’s vice president for research and economic development. 

Twilley said the institute will take an interdisciplinary approach to tackle litter, adding that LSU is uniquely situated as a land- and sea-grant university. 

“Most of the litter starts on land, and a lot of it ends in the sea,” Twilley said.


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Piper Hutchinson
Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.