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How to do a safe and sustainable river clean up

After Josh’s post about paddling on the Thames and doing a river clean up yesterday, we had a few people message us about how they can do it. Here are some top tips from Josh on how to do a safe and sustainable river clean up:

  • Buy a builder’s bucket. They come in all different sizes and are easy to put rubbish in and can be washed out and used again. Just make sure you have a way of securing it to your craft especially if its windy.

  • Buy a good pair of heavy duty gardening gloves. These will help protect your hands and can then be put in your washing machine at home so you can use them again. If you can get your hands on a litter picker they are also very useful and protect yourself even more.

  • Wash your hands using hand sanitiser whilst doing your litter pick and definitely afterwards before getting in your car to head home. When you do get home it is always good to wash your kit down too.

  • Try and drain items like plastic bags, cans and bottles full of water instead of dumping it straight into your bucket. If you can crush cans and bottles even better as that creates more space in your bucket for more rubbish.

  • Don’t overreach or put yourself in danger. A lot of rubbish will be stuck in bushes and trees so just be careful how you negotiate getting to it. Remember your safety is more important than a piece of rubbish.

  • Take the rubbish you collect home and sort out the recyclables.

Useful links:

  • https://clearaccessclearwaters.org.uk/organise-a-paddle-clean-up/

  • https://clearaccessclearwaters.org.uk/tell-us-about-your-paddle-cleanup/

  • https://www.sas.org.uk/

Words by Joshua Telling - Rapid Skills coach and guide.


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