Event 169: Blackweir (14 July 2018)

Over 50 volunteers from Cardiff Rivers Group, Keep Cathays Tidy and Friends of Bute Park spent a summery Saturday morning clearing rubbish from the river Taff, Pontcanna Fields and surrounding areas at Blackweir. The perfect way to celebrate Love Parks Week!

The haul included 2 motorbikes, a car door, drugs paraphernalia (mainly syringes), a bicycle, a flat-bed trolley from a nearby DIY store (which came in handy for moving heavy stuff)…


… various items of abandoned clothing, miscellaneous lengths of piping (ex-goalposts?) and other bits of metal, a large & very rusty propane cylinder, several disposable barbecues, and around 70 bags of assorted litter.

And we were joined by a Bute Park Ranger, who was removing graffiti from the bridge.

Metal items will be recycled by CRG via our sponsor EMR Metal Recycling. All other waste was collected and disposed of by Cardiff Council.

Lots more photos on our Flickr page.

Event 168: River Rhymney at Ball Lane (7 July 2018)

Around 60 volunteers, of all ages, turned out on a very hot and sunny Saturday morning (7 July) to tackle the River Rhymney at Ball Lane, Llanrumney.

Together they filled three Cardiff Council trucks with rubbish.

The main haul was 14 large crash bags, which had been “removed” from a building site upstream to be used as makeshift rafts, and then left in the river.

The bags — each 2m long — are filled with tens of thousands of polystyrene packing pieces. That’s not a real problem if the bags are intact, but unfortunately several of them had got ripped, releasing many thousands of bits of polystyrene into the river.

Whatever hadn’t already gone down to the sea had been trapped by trailing branches or other obstructions, or else had been deposited on various gravel ‘beaches’ as the river level dropped in the current prolonged dry spell.

Thankfully, CRG volunteers were up to the challenge, and many of them spent the morning picking up thousands of pieces of polystyrene by hand.

Also removed from the river were 2 shopping trolleys, 2 traffic cones, various tyres, a blow-up mattress, a garden chair, a kid’s bike, some sort of wooden ‘sled’, a rubber dinghy, and a bath tub.

All the scrap metal recovered will be recycled via our sponsor EMR Metal Recycling.

More photos are available on our Flickr page.

Event 167: Splott Beach (24 June 2018)

On Sunday, 24 June, Cardiff Rivers Group joined forces with Keep Splott Tidy for a partnership clean-up of Splott Beach.

On a gloriously sunny morning, 39 volunteers enjoyed walking along the beach collecting rubbish and meeting new friends.

Together they collected over 30 bags of rubbish, lots of metal (which will be recycled), a few car tyres, pieces of carpet, miscellaneous pipes, a lot of fishing line, and even a wheelie bin from Newport Council!


The beach is littered with rubble, bricks, concrete, twisted metal, and other remnants from Cardiff’s past as a major industrial port.

It would be a great place to play brick bingo!

And there are lots more photos on CRG’s Flickr page.

Event 165: Cardiff Bay Barrage (19 May 2018)

41 volunteers enjoyed a sizzling day in the sunshine litter-picking Cardiff Bay Barrage on Saturday 19th May, in preparation for the arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The Race will bring the world’s attention to Cardiff, so we want to give the best impression to all visitors.

The volunteers were joined by staff from Cardiff Harbour Authority, and together they scoured the edges of the Bay and the breakwater for litter. Together the team collected 70 bags of rubbish.

They were surprised to find so many cotton bud sticks on the water’s edge.

Group member Louise Tambini said, “At first glance the Bay looks spotless, however when you look between the rocks there are lots of plastic items visible. What was even more surprising was the sheer amount of plastic cotton buds we found. We would like to make a plea to everyone to NOT flush things such as cotton buds down the toilet! I still don’t think people realise that they get into rivers and end up on our wonderful coastline.

This week saw the announcement of Keep Wales Tidy’s coast awards and Wales has the most award-beaches per mile in the UK. We have a beautiful coastline, so I hope people start to realise how their actions can impact negatively on it.

“It was another amazing volunteer turnout today and great to see so many people care enough for their local environment that they come out in force to clean it up”, she added.

There are lots more photos on our Flickr page.

It was a glorious day and a wonderful result. All waste was disposed of by Cardiff Council.

Metal recycler EMR launches partnership with Cardiff Rivers Group

Metal recycler EMR has joined forces with Cardiff Rivers Group, to help it visibly improve the cleanliness of the rivers, streams and lakes in Cardiff and surrounding areas.

The partnership was launched at one of the group’s clean up events in preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race.

This prestigious yacht race takes the teams on a 45,000 nautical miles voyage around the world, across four oceans, touching six continents and 12 landmark host cities. Cardiff is one of the host cities and the race is expected to attract 130,000 visitors to Cardiff during the stopover period of 27 May – 10 June. Cardiff Rivers Group has been keeping the city’s waterways clean throughout the event.

(L-R) EMR Commercial Manager Ben Taylor, Cardiff Rivers Group Treasurer Dave King and EMR Area Manager James Cross.

As part of the partnership, EMR has donated £1,799 for an electric motor for the group’s boat to help them clean hard-to-reach areas of the rivers.

EMR Area Manager, James Cross said: “At EMR we put a great deal of importance on supporting the communities that are close to our sites and we are delighted to have a partnership with an organisation that makes such a difference.

Cardiff Rivers Group is a regular customer at our site located on Roath Dock within Cardiff Docks. We are extremely proud to be able to support a group that visibly improves the cleanliness and natural habitat in and around the waterways of Cardiff.

Dave King, Treasurer of Cardiff Rivers Group, said: “We are delighted to form a partnership with EMR and very grateful for their generous contribution. This funding will help us equip our new boat so we can reach more areas.

As a voluntary group, we need to raise funds to enable us to provide volunteers with the correct tools and equipment to carry out their activities safely. We do this by applying for grants, selling the scrap metal we retrieve from watercourses and by securing sponsorship from local companies such as EMR. The support of local businesses is vital

EMR is one of the UK’s leading private companies and one of world’s largest metal recyclers with approximately 170 facilities globally. EMR’s core business is the recycling of commodities from a range of sources such as end-of-life vehicles, consumer products, industry, construction and demolition. These activities generate sales of recycled raw materials of around 10 million tonnes a year.

For more information on EMR:

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