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« Workday and clean-up at Balgreen Community Garden on Thursday all welcome | Main | Trust announces funding support from Baillie Gifford »
Tuesday
Apr102018

Debris Discovery Day last Sunday was rubbish - literally

What a great day we had on Sunday for our Debris Discovery Day in conjunction with Edinburgh Science Festival and supported by Surfers Against Sewage. Every year we deliver dozens of river clean-ups and the rubbish collected usually goes straight to landfill and we don't really analyse what we collect. So the idea of this event was to get lots of volunteers and families along on the launch of our Annual Spring Clean season, make them pick rubbish for an hour or so, then collect and process what they found. We bribed them with the offer of hot soup and a story by Alette Willis at the break. A whopping 52 people joined us for the day aged between 4 and 80!! - we were even joined by a hen party (complete with matching pink wellies) 

The photos are below but the results were quite surprising. Over all around 40 bags of rubbish were collected by the volunteers - these were emptied out and sorted in to bins: Plastic for recycling, Glass, Cardbroad/Paper, Metal Cans, Timber, Big Plastic Items, Large Metal items, Landfill, Re-use, Weird and Wonderful and YUCK!!

We collected 179 plastic bottles and 170 drinks cans!!, 31 glass bottles, 19 paper cups which could all be recycled. The 10 pieces of timber will be used on my wood burner and a couple of the 12 items of plastic and 16 pieces of metal could be recycled but sadly most will end up in landfill, roughly 20 bags and a few dozen larger items. So much of what we collect is past it for recycling - once something has been littered it gets muddy, starts to degrade or gets mixed up with other things. We also found an enormous amount of cellophane and wrappers - bags and bags full!!! We did have some fun items a dolls leg, balls, a garland, xmas lights and some pretty horrid things used syringe,  nappy and tampon. The main thing is the river is now clean and 400 items littered over 1/2 a mile were purely disposable drinks containers and countless crisp and sweet wrapper - proving that snacking on the go is the main culprit when it comes to littering and probably the main culprit for our expanding waist lines!!

It was great to have the support of Alana and Laura from the Science Festival and 3 volunteers from Surfers against Sewage who really helped to explain the problems this litter could have cause if we had left it in the river - where it would have flowed into the ocean and become a marine problem. So thats some less plastic in the ocean and by our river. But its only the start. There are 10 more clean-ups happening over the coming week so we will get more.

Ready to go

The hens are kitted out and have a lovely pile to sort

Its got to be clean if we are to recycle it

That is MANKY

Wee ones on the case

NICE

 

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