£1 million to clear the rubbish

Published: Friday, 14 April 2017

THE Canal & River Trust state that it is costing £1 million annually to clear-up after litter-happy Britons, that leave their litter both in and around the waterways.

It has cleared-up some very unusual items that people have discarded in addition to the normal shopping trolley, that is a favourite item to sling into a waterway. Items that included an adult blow-up doll, (pictured)  golf buggies, a pogo stick, a pair of walkie talkies and a garden fork. The blow-up doll was found in the Rochdale Canal, with the picture below showing the Rochdale Canal in Deansgate, Manchester.

Winter haul

But more still, including safes, motorbikes, tyres and mobile phones were also part of the winter haul in addition to the thousands of cans, bottles, wrappers and plastic bags it removes every year.  Though since the 5p charge was introduced on plastic bags, the number of these has dropped dramatically.

In a recent survey, commissioned by the  Trust, it states that 96% of people said that they didn’t think it was acceptable to drop litter, but 66% still admitted to doing it, adding that most of the discarded rubbish on the waterways sinks to the bottom of the canal or river bed, causing an invisible hazard to the environment and boats. Tyres and other rubbish contain pollutants which leak into the water and poison fish and other wildlife. Often rubbish acts as a choking hazard and wildlife can become trapped in it.

Should be protecting

Peter Birch, National Environment Manager for the Canal & River Trust, stated:

“Rubbish being thrown into our canals and rivers is a problem that is not going away. We are asking members of the public to join the fight against litter. We should be protecting these special places not damaging them. Our excellent army of volunteers help us to clear rubbish but the funds that we have to allocate to it could be better spent.”