PRESS RELEASE: Autumn Clean-up of the Grand Union Canal Through Milton Keynes Gathers an Incredible Assortment of Rubbish

Issue date: 23rd October 2013

Milton Keynes Branch of The Inland Waterways Association (MK IWA), working in partnership with Canal & River Trust (CRT) and sponsored by Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd. completed their autumn canal clean-up covering 10 miles of the Grand Union Canal through Milton Keynes over the weekend 18th to 20th October. Approximately 10 tons of rubbish was hauled out of the canal, including a telephone answering machine, a wheel clamp, golf bag, an epee, a fridge freezer, two baby buggies and chocolate bars, not to mention car parts, road furniture, assorted metal objects, plastic and 24 bicycles (mainly dumped in the Wolverton area). Many black bags were filled with litter collected along the towpath. This year only five supermarket trolleys were recovered which is the lowest number that anyone can remember.

Due to these clean-ups, Milton Keynes has one of the cleanest canals of any place in England. The city is very fortunate to have the Grand Union Canal making a beautiful green corridor, which is much appreciated by residents and visitors alike.

The clean-up was organised by MK IWA committee member David Stuart-King. As is customary on these bi-annual canal clean-ups, IWA members’ boats towed a 70-foot hopper and a 40-foot pan. The work boats for the rubbish were supplied by CRT. The dredged rubbish was obtained by operating eight strong grapple hooks from the hopper; the pan was worked along the offside bank. Other members in their boats disembarked to dredge from the bank and litter pick along the whole length of the towpath. A total of 35 IWA volunteers were involved over the weekend contributing 298 volunteer hours. Six CRT staff were additional valuable support.

ENDS

For further information please contact Rodney Evans, IWA Milton Keynes Branch rodney.evans@waterways.org.uk or Miriam Tedder, Canal & River Trust on 07775 43990 or Sarah.Rudy@canalrivertrust.org.uk.

Notes for Editors

Sponsors: All those involved in the clean-up were provided with a hot lunch by Lionhearts Cruising Club in their club house on the Saturday. Julia and Richard Cook of the J & M Canal Carrying Co. also again supported the clean-up with a donation in thanks for easing the passage of their fuel boat, Towcester, through Milton Keynes where dumped rubbish in the canal can cause serious problems. This year the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundations London Luton Airport Operation Fund awarded a grant to IWA MK to defray its costs of the bi-annual canal clean-up.

Items collected: Trolleys - 5 (only 2 are identifiable to Sainsbury & Asda), Bicycles - 24, Motorbikes - 2 frames only, Car Wheels/Tyres - 17, Tractor Tyre - 1, Lorry Tyre - 1, Racing Car Tyres - 3, Traffic Cones - 1 plus 2 bases, Scaffold Poles - 1, Road Signs - 1, TVs - 1Tube/Screen only, Chairs - 7, Child’s Scooter - 5, Metal Sign Post - 1, Wheel Clamp - 1, Ecofan - 1, Flat Iron - 1, Car Fender - 1, Wire Mesh Fencing - Quantity, Clothes Airer - 1, Electric Flex - Quantity, Computer Mouse - 2, Garden Parasol - 1, Boat Cover (plastic) - 1, Polythene Sheet - 1, Engine Manifold - 1, Car Body Panel - 1, Rotary Clothes Line - 1, Wire Basket - 2, Builder’s Bag & Sand - 1, Fuel Can - 1, Registration Plate - 1, Electric Sander - 1, Reinforcing Rod - 1, Epee - 1, Baby Buggy - 2 (No Babies!), Hanging Basket - 1, Vacuum Cleaner - 2, Scaffold Board - 1, Wheelbarrow - 1, Angle Poise Lamp - 1, Telephone Answering Machine - 1, Multimeter - 1, Tennis Racquet - 1, Golf Bag - 1, TV Aerial - 1, Heris Fence Panel Base - 1, Crutch - 1, Garden Hose -1, Fridge Freezer - 1, Generator Frame - 1, Plastic Drain Pipe - 4 metres, Umbrella - 2, Hub Cap - 2, Fishing Net - 1, Radiator - 1, Computer Casing - 1, Plastic Pipe - 2, Watering Can - 1, Gas Heater - 1, Shoe - 3, Carpet - 3 pieces, Padlock & Chain - 1, Dog Tag & Chain - 1, Binoculars - 1, Coats - 2, Sandals - 1 pair, Door Mat - 1, Flag - 1, Corrugated Iron Sheet - 1, Large Board - 1, Bucket - 1, Chocolate Bars - several unwrapped, Brush - 1, Toothbrush - 1, Metal Pipe - 1, Skateboard - 2, Bannister Rail - 1, Steering Wheel - 1, and approximately 20 sacks containing Bottles, Cans and other rubbish

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