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Durham and Darlington Rivers get a Spring Clean


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The Environment Agency, Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council have teamed up to support this year’s annual Litter Free Durham Big Spring Clean by organising a river clean-up.

The EA report that following the success of last year’s clean-up, when over five tonnes of waste were cleared from the Rivers Wear and Skerne, the teams are joining forces again to clear debris such as shopping trolleys, traffic cones, tyres and other fly-tipped items.

The Environment Agency has an annual maintenance programme to clear obstructions from rivers that might cause a flood risk. The councils will help to collect any debris and litter and take it away for safe disposal or to be recycled.

This year the teams will be using a boat powered floating platform in deep water so that they can safely access the steep bank sides below Durham Cathedral to clear unsightly litter that has collected there.

Andrew Foster in the Environment Agency’s operations delivery team said:

“The Environment Agency normally only removes debris that could cause an obstruction, and a flood risk. So this is another great opportunity to pool resources with the councils to clear all litter and debris we find in the rivers and have a thorough spring clean.

Our teams are trained to work in deep water, using specialised equipment and protective suits to remove debris from the river. Last year we had a few surprises, especially when we pulled an old dentist’s chair out of the river. We also collected up to 30 tyres from the river in Darlington. Fly-tipped rubbish is not only unsightly, but could increase the risk of flooding in bad weather if it gets washed further downstream.”

Litter Free Durham’s Big Spring Clean 2012 campaign had over 1,000 volunteers who helped to collect a further 1,265 bags of litter across Durham and Darlington. Once again the initiative has helped arrange litter picks every day over one month across Durham and Darlington, to free the area of litter. The campaign is in partnership with Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council.

For more information about the Big Spring Clean 2013 visit Litter Free Durham

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Environment Agency, river wear, River Skerne