A COMMUNITY action group in Bridgwater hosted its monthly litter pick along the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal last Saturday (February 16, 2019) and welcomed 21 new volunteers.
Rage Against Rubbish organises the canal cleaning project with support of the YMCA, The Purplespoon Café and the West Country Branch of the Inland Waterway Association (IWA) and it had an influx of new people getting involved.
Jason Winter from Rage Against Rubbish explained,
“It was great to see so many new faces as well as some of our regular volunteers. We had more families join us and it was great to see the children so enthusiastic.
“We’re really keen to get youngsters involved and help shape the next generation. It’s key to make children aware of the impact that litter has on our environment. We would like to encourage them to hopefully pick up litter in their own time and for them to inspire their friends.”
During the litter pick the Rage Against Rubbish team and volunteers paddled and walked towards Bridgwater Docks from the YMCA on Friarn Avenue armed with their bin bags and litter pickers and collected rubbish from both the waterway and the towpath.
“We again collected a large amount of litter mainly plastic bottles and beer cans and this time smaller items rather than bikes and shopping trolleys. This wasn’t our largest haul of litter so it’s great to see slightly less litter around the area.”
New volunteers included Dave Porcas from Bridgwater and his two children 11-year-old Jasmine and eight-year-old Ethan.
Dave, who lives near the docks in Bridgwater, explained,
“I heard about Rage Against Rubbish from Julian Gibson, an IWA volunteer, and we were keen to get involved.
“My children and I started doing our own litter picks around our neighbourhood due to the amount of waste seen along the paths. It was great to join the Rage Against Rubbish crew on Saturday and all come together to really make a difference.
“It’s was a fantastic feeling to see the canal and towpath spotless as we walked back to the YMCA from the docks. We’re already looking forward to the next litter pick.”
The Purplespoon Café, which is located at YMCA, provided volunteers with a 10% off voucher for hot food and hot drinks before and after the event.
The West Country Branch of the IWA supplied volunteers and a flat work boat with on-board rubbish, storage containers. The IWA volunteers also disposed of the rubbish removed from the canal and towpath.
The IWA is a membership charity that works to protect and restore the country’s 6,500 miles of canals and rivers.
Rage Against Rubbish was formed by Jason, Dan Perry, his nine-year-old son Riley, Trev Vass and Sarah Johnstone, all kayakers, who regularly paddle along the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal. They were fed up with seeing vast amounts of rubbish and discarded items in the waterway.
“Our next Bridgwater & Taunton Canal litter pick will be on Saturday, March 16 from 10am until 12.30pm but this time from the YMCA George Williams Centre on Friarn Avenue heading towards the Boat & Anchor.
“The YMCA are offering us their double kayaks and Canadian canoes for people to use free of charge. There are a limited number available so if people would like to use one for our next litter pick, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].
“If you would like to help us with our quest, then please contact us on our Facebook page or Twitter page. No one is too old or young to join but we do ask that all children are supervised by adults.”