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:

Event 164: Parc Tredelerch (12 May 2018)

35 enthusiastic volunteers from Cardiff Rivers Group spent the morning of Saturday 12th May clearing loads of waste from Parc Tredelerch, off Lamby Way. Happily, the sun shone on the volunteers, who enjoyed visiting this lovely park.

CRG volunteers, working in the sunshine

They scoured the long grass, bushes and riverbank to collect 27 bags of rigid plastic (which will be recycled by Terracycle), 55 bags of general waste, a toilet, a tyre, a rubber duck, and even a rather sinister-looking makeshift weapon!

A volunteer with the nasty-looking make-shift weapon we found

The team also discovered an incredible amount of stripped cabling — both the outer plastic insulation and the steel-wire ‘armouring’, left over after thieves removed the valuable copper core — which had been dumped over the flyover onto the riverbank below. The volunteers then rose to the challenge task of dragging the estimated half-a-tonne of steel-wire about 150m to the collection point, so it could be taken for recycling.
All the stripped cabling we collected  Jon Wallis, group member,  said, “Parc Tredelerch was created on top of an old landfill site, and it’s a real shame that what is now a beautiful place is being blighted by new rubbish being thoughtlessly dropped all over it. Thankfully, there are lots of dedicated people who regularly come out and volunteer with us, and who can be proud of making a real difference to the natural environment in-and-around Cardiff.

All waste that can’t be processed by Terracycle, or scrapped via European Metal Recycling, will be collected by Cardiff Council.

There are lots more photos on our Flickr page.

And there’s another timelapse video showing the CRG volunteers in action!

Cardiff Rivers Group’s next event is on Saturday 19th May, when the team will head to Cardiff Bay Barrage for a clean up, ready for when the Volvo Ocean Race arrives on 27th May.

Event 163: River Rhymney at Lamby Way – The Return! (22 April 2018)

55 enthusiastic volunteers enjoyed the spring sunshine on 22 April — Earth Day 2018 — as they returned to the River Rhymney to remove plastics and other waste from its banks. And it was lovely to see lots of new faces yet again!

CRG volunteers hard at work at Lamby Way
The volunteers spent 2 hours collecting 1.5 tonnes of waste, plus 30 bags of marine plastic.

What made it much more tricky were the thousands of pieces of polystyrene that littered the entire area. Volunteers had to sit down to painstakingly pick up each piece individually!

Volunteers picking up polystyrene

They collected the usual array of plastic, plus tyres, numerous footballs, a shop chiller cabinet, various gas bottles, traffic cones, wooden panels and even a seesaw! We also found nurdles (lentil-sized pieces of plastic that are used to make larger plastic products) amongst it all.

We were delighted to see lots of native wildlife, including a little water vole who came out to say hello!

Water vole
Louise Tambini, group member said,

“Today I was delighted to see my first water vole in the wild. It was a great reminder why it is so important to keep our green spaces litter-free.”

Committee member, Dave King said,

“Inspiring to see over 50 people, particularly our younger volunteers, giving up their Sunday morning to make such a huge difference to the riverbank. By removing such a large amount of waste, and so many small pieces of polystyrene, we know that we prevented this plastic from getting into the sea and therefore into the marine food chain. Everyone who took part should be very proud of themselves!”

All waste was collected by Cardiff Council. And the marine plastic will be recycled by Terracycle, as part of their Beach Plastic Recycling Programme.

Lots more photos can be seen on our Flickr page.

And there’s a time-lapse video of all the volunteers making a huge difference.

It was a great morning’s work — many thanks to everyone who helped out!

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.

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