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App aims to get information about littering along Mississippi to river towns’ leaders

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CANTON, Mo. (WGEM) -- Towns along the Mississippi in the Tri-States could soon get detailed information about the litter in the river.

The Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative lists Canton and Hannibal, Missouri, plus Quincy as cities where you can use the 'Debris Tracker' phone app.

It allows users to report waste and find out how it ends up in waterways, with the ultimate goal of keeping plastic out of the ocean.

Canton Mayor Jarrod Phillips said with many of these towns using the Mississippi for drinking water, keeping the water clean helps everyone.

"Even if [trash] doesn't get into the river," said Phillips. "That can cause problems with your pumps that you're using to move water to different points in the city, especially for a city like this it's protected with a levy we have to pump all that water out. So if an impeller is damaged, that's additional cost to the citizens."

Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative officials said the Mississippi drains 40% of the continental U.S. and sends huge volumes of plastics into the Gulf of Mexico.

You can download the Debris Tracker app here.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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