Plastics-Free Pledge and SDD

Taking the Plastics-Free Pledge can help the environment while reducing the risk of sewer backups and costly repairs
By Kent Newton, SDD Executive Director


Plastic waste has become a pressing environmental issue, causing harm to ecosystems and posing risks to public health. The SDD is urging residents of the Decatur area to sign on to a plastics-free pledge for 30 days to collectively reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in sanitary sewers and the local environment. By taking individual action, community members can contribute to a more sustainable future and protect their infrastructure from damage and costly repairs.

Each year, the SDD expends tens of thousands of dollars, to remove plastic waste from the sanitary sewer system. The most common items include single-use plastics like grocery bags, plastic water bottles, and food packaging. These materials can cause several issues within the sewer system, such as clogging pipes and drainage systems. Accumulated plastic waste obstructs the flow of wastewater, leading to backups, overflows, and potential damage to vital infrastructure.

In 2022 alone, the Sanitary District of Decatur spent nearly $40,000 on removing and properly disposing of plastic waste from the system. This figure underscores the financial burden caused by plastic pollution and emphasizes the urgent need for collective action to address the issue.

To reduce the risk of costly backups and repairs, we encourage residents to sign up and participate in the plastics-free pledge. By joining the pledge, individuals commit to reducing their use of plastics and adopting sustainable alternatives. Some recommended actions include refraining from using single-use plastic items like straws, bags, and cutlery, opting for reusable alternatives such as water bottles, cloth bags, and metal or bamboo straws, and choosing products with minimal or plastic-free packaging.  Additionally, participants are encouraged to recycle or properly dispose of any unavoidable plastic waste.

Joining the Plastics-Free Pledge is an excellent opportunity for Decatur residents to make a meaningful contribution toward reducing plastic waste. By making simple lifestyle changes and adopting sustainable alternatives, individuals can help protect their community’s infrastructure, conserve natural resources, and promote a cleaner environment.

Let’s work together to create a more sustainable future for Decatur and beyond.

Click the Plastics-Free Pledge link to join the pledge to be plastics-free for 30 days.