Event 193: Ball Lane, Llanrumney (14 April 2019)

35 volunteers from Cardiff Rivers Group enjoyed a sunny morning in Llanrumney as they cleared rubbish from the River Rhymney and surrounding green space.

Together, the litter heroes collected 85 bags of rubbish (50 bags of general waste and 35 bags of recycling).

They also found car engines, lorry radiators, trollies, large plastic barriers and sheeting, lots of metal and even a bin.

And the human volunteers were ably assisted by some canine companions.


Cardiff Council collected all the waste as soon as the event was finished.

Thanks to everyone who helped out!

Event 191: Cath Cobb Woods, St Mellons (23 March 2019)

As part of Keep Wales Tidy’s ‘Spring Clean Cymru’ campaign, 34 volunteers from Cardiff Rivers Group spent 2 hours removing litter and waste from Cath Cobb woods and stream in St Mellons.

Sadly, this lovely habitat was full of litter and waste.

 

The volunteers collected an amazing 86 bags of rubbish, plus many larger items, including 6 shopping trolleys, 3 bikes, bits of metal fencing, a wheelchair, a pushchair, several footballs and some car tyres.

The team even found a packet of ‘The Real Ghostbusters’ crisps from 1992, which shows just how long litter can stick around.

Who you gonna call? Cardiff Rivers Group!

A number of volunteers spent the whole 2 hours removing rubbish-filled blockages from various parts of the stream to allow it to flow freely again.

A great morning’s work by everyone who came along!

 

The waste will be collected and disposed of by Cardiff Council.

More photos on Flickr.

Event 189: Hendre Lake (3 March 2019)

25 Volunteers spent an extremely soggy Sunday morning clearing rubbish from Hendre lake, its banks, the surrounding paths, and the streams and reens that flow into and out of the lake.

The regular volunteers were joined by lots of welcome new faces, including local residents and Cardiff councillors.

The team removed lots of litter, miscellaneous large metal items, several tyres and, disappointingly, lots of angling-related debris, such as fishing line and empty bait packets. There were also a lot of discarded cigarette butts around the various fishing platforms.

Annoyingly, quite a lot of rubbish on the edge of the lake — drinks cans, camping-stove canisters, food tins, etc — couldn’t be picked up as it was trapped in thick brambles, and will have to wait until they can be cut back.

The rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the soaked volunteers, who went for a well-deserved drink afterwards to congratulate each other on a job well done!


More photos on our Flickr page.

Event 184: Hailey Park (26 January 2019)

48 amazing volunteers spent 2 hours scouring the banks of the Taff in Hailey Park on Saturday morning, 26 January, removing litter and other rubbish that had been washed down the river — a lot of it quite high up the banks, following Storm Callum.


Although it did rain a bit during the morning, thankfully we weren’t subjected to two solid hours of downpour like last year. (That said, the leak in my waders meant that the weather was largely irrelevant.)

Together, the CRG litter-locusts collected 80 bags of miscellaneous rubbish, 8 car tyres, 2 supermarket trolleys, 2 traffic cones, various bits of traffic barriers, a green wheelie-bin, plus assorted items of scrap.
The metal items that we found — including a large (and very heavy) bit off an electricity pylon (it still had a most of a brown ceramic insulator attached) and various lengths of metal piping and cable — will be weighed-in for scrap at EMR, Cardiff, as part of CRG’s fundraising.

One thing that was very apparent during Saturday’s event was the amount of “non-woven fabric” — aka wet wipes — that was caught up in branches and other obstructions along the banks of the river.And those were just the ones that didn’t end up as part of monstrous sewer-blocking “fatbergs“, like the 800 tonne one recently removed from a sewer in Cardiff’s Mermaid Quay, at a cost of £2 million.

The problem is, it’s incredibly hard to remove non-woven fabric, as it just tears into bits. But if left, over time the material will break down into micro-plastic particles that will end up in the food chain, and which may well ultimately be eaten by us.

However, there is some good news on the horizon, with the introduction of the “Fine to Flush” industry standard. Wet-wipes that meet the standard won’t contain any plastics and will break down so that they don’t cause fatbergs or, we hope, get caught up on the riverbank. This is a massive improvement on the current situation, in which manufacturers label some of their products as “flushable”, even though none of them have passed the water industry’s disintegration tests.

Event 181: Hamadryad Park revisited (5 January 2019)

To kick off the new year’s activities, we returned to Hamadryad Park on Saturday 5th January to carry on the job we began before Christmas.

63 volunteers got stuck into the reeds to continue the mammoth task. The freezing weather did not deter them as they scoured the area for two hours, collecting lots more rubbish to add to the 180 bags they collected just two weeks ago.

Together the team gathered another 140 bags of waste! The haul included hundreds of plastic drinks bottles, fast-food wrappers, cuddly toys (not-so-cuddly after spending months in the Taff), gas canisters, road barriers, plastic pipes, footballs and a load more plastic ducks! All waste will be collected by Cardiff Council.

Committee member, Louise Tambini, said,

“When we formed the group in 2009 we had no idea that we would still be active 10 years later, and it’s now stronger than ever! We have new volunteers at every event and now have over 550 subscribers on our event mailing list. This is beyond anything we could have dreamed of.

“I know it is a shame that groups like ours need to exist to deal with rubbish that is left by irresponsible people, but when we are on a clean-up we have such fun together. Spending time in the outdoors, in often very beautiful surroundings, with like-minded people, is a great way to spend a morning. Litter-picking can be very rewarding, both physically and mentally, and is a great way to meet new people and do some exercise.”  h

It was also the first official event where our new boat was used and very useful it was, too, enabling volunteers to reach litter in deeper water and places inaccessible from the shoreline. We’re very grateful to EMR Metal Recycling, Viridor, Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru and the Cardiff YMCA (1910) Trust, who provided the funding to enable us to purchase the boat, motor and trailer, and to train volunteers in the safe use of the boat.

What a great way to start the New Year. Thanks to all our regulars and a big welcome to all the new faces!

More photos on our Flickr page.

Event 180: Hamadryad Park (22 December 2018)

35 volunteers attended our last event of 2018, on Saturday 22 December, and wow, did they make a difference!

Together, in just 2 hours, they collected 180 bags of rubbish (mostly plastic drinks bottles), 18 plastic ducks, 16 traffic cones, 9 tyres, 2 road barriers and lots more miscellaneous stuff!

Volunteers braved the chilly water to remove the rubbish, most of which would otherwise end up breaking down into micro-plastic pollution — which then gets ingested by wildlife — or be washed down into the bay by storm water and potentially ending up in the sea.

One of our members, Chris Hackett, is currently in hospital recuperating from an operation, so the team donned masks to show him we were thinking of him!

What a great way to finish 2018!

There’s some drone footage of the event:

And there are more photos on our Flickr page.

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