Volunteers Needed for Volvo Ocean Race ‘Green Team’!

Volunteers are needed for the Volvo Ocean Race ‘Green Team‘ 27th May – 10th June.

They are looking for people who are passionate about the environment, recycling and most importantly clean seas and healthy oceans.  (No sailing experience required!)

Tasks will include:

► Talking to Race Village visitors about the issue of plastic pollution.
► Discussing what can be done to stop plastic pollution and what they can do
► Encouraging them to sign up to a commitment to Clean Seas and pledge to reduce their own plastic footprint.
► Encouraging people to refill at water refill stations and stop buying single-use plastic bottles.
► Getting people to write out pledges on a pledge board and taking photos using our fun and interactive selfie-booth.
► Helping people get the recyclable and compostable plates and cups into the right bin
► Use fishing nets to catch floating plastic

All volunteers will be provided with free lunch and official event uniform.

You don’t have to volunteer for the whole 15 days!  Just two shifts is the minimum.

Find out more & sign up to volunteer now!

CRG makes the news! ‘Largest’ plastics haul in Cardiff river bank clean-up

Following its epic clean-up of the River Rhymney at Lamby Way last Saturday (31 March), Cardiff Rivers Group has been hitting the headlines.

Firstly, there was an article on the BBC News website yesterday (2 April)…

Article about Cardiff Rivers Group on BBC News

… and CRG founder-member Louise Tambini was interviewed on BBC Radio Wales’s Good Evening Wales programme today. (The interview begins at 1:50:15 and the programme will be available on the Radio Wales website until 2 May, 2018.)

Event 162: River Rhymney at Lamby Way (31 March 2018)

Over 50 volunteers gave up their Easter Saturday morning to tackle just one bend on the River Rhymney where thousands of plastic bottles and lots of other waste had been washed up.

But in less than 2 hours, the CRG litter locusts completely cleared the area!

It was easily our biggest haul of rubbish yet.

In total 10 trailer loads were removed from the river bank, avoiding considerable pollution, especially from containers of engine oil and building-site crash bags full of polystyrene (the long green bags you see in the photos).

And the detailed results are:

  • Plastics for recycling by KWT/Terracycle: 150 bags
  • Hard plastics for recycling: 6 sacks, plus a 1 cubic meter water bowser, 4 large barrels, 8 traffic cones, chair, table top
  • Mixed recycling (glass, cans): 25 bags plus 1 sack of plastic bottles
  • 10 car wheels/tyres
  • 14 gas bottles
  • 2 fire extinguishers
  • 2 fridges
  • 2 fridge-freezers
  • General rubbish for incineration: 60 bags, plus 5 full sacks
  • 2 bags just full of footballs
  • 10 eight-foot building site crash mats filled with polystyrene (two beginning to split), which were dumped in River Rumney last September
  • 2 containers of engine oil
  • Miscellaneous wood including a ladder

Key: bag = dustbin/recycling type bag (approx 50 litres)
sack = builders rubble/sand sack (approx. 1 cubic metre)

All waste was ferried back to Lamby Way for recycling or safe disposal by Cardiff Council.

Thanks to Natural Resources Wales who bought us some new litter-picking kit — just in time!

And what a difference the team made!

Lots more photos on our Flickr page.

Event 161: Dr Who Beach, Cardiff Bay (25 March 2018)

On Sunday 25 March, around 30 volunteers, plus support from the Parks department, made it through the road-closures in place for the Cardiff Bay Run out to tackle the ever-horrible Dr Who Beach (by the old Dr Who Experience), as part of our series of events to help turn the tide on plastic in Cardiff before the Volvo Ocean Race arrives here at the end of May. (Apologies to anyone who tried to get there and wasn’t allowed through — it was out of our control, unfortunately.)

As ever at this site, where the water currents conspire to accumulate a lot of the rubbish that gets washed into the bay, we were confronted by a really daunting prospect:

But two hours’ hard work by everyone concerned…

… did manage to make a difference.

Some of the plastics we collected will be recycled into musical instruments, which will be used in ‘Under the Bridge’ — a Cardiff Harbour Authority community project that aims to encourage young people from the local area to take part in urban activity workshops during the Easter holidays.

Event 160: Faendre Reen, St Mellons (10 March 2018)

Over 20 volunteers — including some welcome new faces — did a fantastic job in and around Faendre Reen, St. Mellons, this morning, collecting more than 60 bags of litter (mostly plastic drinks bottles), plus a whole load of miscellaneous items (eg, toys, footballs, old carpets, clothing, discharged fire-extinguishers, a motorbike exhaust, and DIY/building waste).

Click to open a larger image in a new tab.

There was also quite a lot of polystyrene in the reen, a lot of it broken up into individual ‘beads’ that are impossible to remove by hand, creating a hazard for wildlife by choking them or clogging their digestive system.

Swan in Faendre Reen

Commenting on the litter-pick, Louise Tambini, a CRG committee member, said,

Unfortunately, it does seem that a lot of waste we removed today had been thrown over the back fences of houses. It then falls down the bank and into the Faendre Reen. This waste causes blockages and harms wildlife, as well as looking extremely unsightly. There are many other options for residents, including using the council’s bulky waste collection and donating unwanted toys to local charity shops. I just wish more residents disposed of their waste responsibly”.

Having found, and helped to remove, a large cable drum…

Large wooden cable drum
… one volunteer decided to go on well-earned holiday with a suitcase he’d found.

More photos on the CRG Flikr page.

And check out our upcoming events for one near you!

Event 159: Hamadryad Park (24 February 2018)

With the Volvo Ocean Race due to sail into Cardiff Bay at the end of May, and the recent focus on marine plastic pollution — thanks in no small part to the last episode of the great Sir David Attenborough’s  Blue Planet II series — Cardiff Rivers Group has stepped up its battle to Turn the Tide on Plastic and rid Cardiff’s shores of the tonnes of litter that disgrace our marine environment with a series of events over the next few weeks.

The first was on Saturday 24 February, when 40 volunteers (and a dog) refused to be deterred by the ‘beast from the east’ and turned up on a freezing , but gloriously sunny, morning  to start the battle against plastic in Hamadrayad Park.

An enormous amount of rubbish washes down the river Taff  to the shores of the park, where it’s a real eyesore and a hazard to wildlife. Also, if it’s not removed, it will eventually make its way down to the bay, and potentially into the sea.

rubbish on the banks of the Taff

In just 2 hours the team collected 54 bags of plastic (mostly drinks bottles), 8 traffic cones and 3 road barriers, all of which will be recycled as part of a Keep Wales Tidy/TerraCycle project, thereby removing it from the marine environment and turning it into new products. We also collected 44 bags of litter and other rubbish, plus parts of a shed, a gas bottle, two Xmas trees, and a toy owl!

discarded plastic drinks bottles

Louise Tambini, a  group member, said,

“All the publicity about marine plastic has really helped to raise awareness of the issue , and we are delighted that more and more volunteers are joining us as we tackle litter in Cardiff’s watercourses. We have made a huge difference today, and hope to inspire lots more volunteers to join in activities in the future. We are extremely proud of our city and excited to invite visitors from across the world as part of the Volvo Ocean Race. Cardiff Rivers Group will be doing our bit to rid our shores of litter and working in partnership with Cardiff Council to ensure the city looks its best”.

It was a great morning’s work that resulted in a much cleaner park and far less plastic entering the marine environment — we think Sir David Attenborough would be proud!Bags of rubbish

More photos on our Flickr page.

All waste was removed by Cardiff Council. The event was the first of 3 events that Cardiff Rivers Group is holding as part of Keep Wales Tidy’s ‘Spring Clean Cymru’ campaign.

The next event takes place on Sunday 4 March, when we will be tackling the banks of  River Rhymney by Lamby Way, which are absolutely covered with plastic. It’s set to be one of our most challenging events yet. We’ll need lots of volunteers, so please come along and help us Make a Difference!

Please sign up to our mailing list to get notifications about our events (we send out details one week ahead of each event).

Making A Difference in Rivers and Waterways in Cardiff and Surrounding Areas