Recently we have been concentrating on clearing litter at river level. This has involved two of our members working in the river with waders on, one on either bank, so they are socially distanced. In this way they can clear litter and debris that is hanging in the riverside vegetation, mainly on brambles which are excellent litter filters. More members have been working higher up the bank.
We would estimate that about 40% of the litter we have collected in this way is wet wipes and other sanitary fabric (nappies and sanitary towels). This is not thrown directly into the river but is released when surplus sewage is discharged into the river during heavy rainfall, known as combined sewage outflow. Hopefully these photographs show the problem. River Worth Friends asks everyone to avoid putting these fabrics down the toilet, put it in the bin instead.
A plastic water bottle dropped here in Keighley might stay in Keighley but it could equally end up littering a beach in Spain or the Caribbean for instance. Or even worse ingested by a marine creature.
We have probably covered about 100 yards of the river in the last few weeks, working our way up from the confluence with the Aire, we've removed about 40 bags of litter plus numerous car tyres, shopping trolleys, various garments and duvets, domestic appliances, etc.
If you would like to help us in this work please get in touch using our contact form, we would be glad to have you.