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Debris Month of Action Most Unusual Discoveries

Oct. 23/13

What do a skateboard, Ganesh statue, golf clubs and fake teeth all have in common? They were all odd items found by Dive Against Debris volunteers during this year’s September Debris Month of Action.  

We’re really grateful to the volunteers for their efforts which were invaluable in making Sheffield’s waterways cleaner, safer and just more enjoyable to visit

Jon Horsfall, waterways manager at South Yorkshire’s Canal and River Trust

What else did volunteer divers find? More than 38,680 debris items including 3,935 plastic beverage bottles, 2,152 cigarette filters, and 2,363 cigar tips. Shocking? Wait until we tell you what the most bizarre and unusual discovery was: a “makeshift toilet” found in the murky depths of the Sheffield Canal in the UK.

A team of 40 divers, led by Diveworld Sheffield, took the plunge during Debris Month of Action to uncover a seemingly never-ending stream of debris that had been cluttering up the waterway.

“Some of the items pulled out are really harmful to wildlife and could also pose problems for boats on the water,” commented Jon Horsfall, waterways manager at South Yorkshire’s Canal and River Trust.

“We’re really grateful to the volunteers for their efforts which were invaluable in making Sheffield’s waterways cleaner, safer and just more enjoyable to visit.”

The findings of this particular Dive Against Debris event highlight the issue of fly-tipping.  Steve Hird, master instructor at Diveworld, Sheffield Council and the Canal and Rivers Trust are joining forces to raise awareness of the issue and are working together towards finding solutions to tackle the problem.

“It’s really great to see the local community pulling together and the work will make a huge difference to the area” said the Cabinet Member of Environment at Sheffield Council about Diveworld’s Dive Against Debris event.

More than 1,950 volunteers took action against litter in their local communities this September removing 24,571.74 kgs/54,171.40 lbs of trash. The findings of these events are not only empowering dive leaders to take action locally but together we’re building an informed picture of the impact our trash has on the planet's underwater ecosystems.

We look forward to meeting the Diveworld team at Dive 2013 at the NEC Birmingham on 26 and 27 September to present them with their well-deserved prize for winning this year’s most unusual debris item contest. Thank you to all Dive Against Debris volunteers who submitted photos of their most bizarre findings when reporting their data online.