‘Respect where you live’: City centre canals left in sorry state by litter-happy Mancunians

The Canal & River Trust has told the Manchester people “enough is enough” after finding blow-up dolls and motorbikes lurking at the bottom of the city centre’s canals.

The Rochdale Canal, situated between Canal Street and Deansgate, was drained in February 2017 and revealed some shocking revelations.

In a recent survey, commissioned by the Canal & River Trust, 96 per cent of people said they didn’t think it was acceptable to drop litter, but 66 per cent still admitted to littering.

Helen Hall, Canal & River Trust National Press Officer, said: “We are making progress after establishing a volunteer group in the city centre called For9, who meet once a month to carry out canal repairs, or to remove built-up litter.

“I understand it’s hard on the bars along the canal to control people throwing waste, but they are paying Manchester city council business rates. So, there has to be some sort of responsibility on their part to enforce penalties for littering.”

Discarded rubbish within canals causes invisible hazard to the environment and boats, while waste acts as a choking hazard and contains pollutants which leak into the water and poisons, or suffocates fish and other wildlife.

Joshua Richmond, Supervisor of Canal Street’s VIA, said: “If we saw people throwing things into the water we would automatically ban them from the venue and radio other venues to warn them.

“My advice would be to think of the wildlife living in the canal and to respect the town you live in.”

At an annual cost of £1million, thousands of cans, bottles, wrappers, and plastic bags are removed from the canal every year; all having various biodegrade time lengths.

According to the Canal & River Trust, plastic bottles take 450 years to biodegrade – compared to glass bottles, which take up to one million years.

Set up five years ago caring for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, the Trust’s winter haul uncovered some unusual items from the canal’s floor including, an adult blow-up doll, golf buggies, empty safes, motorbikes, countless shopping trolleys, tyres, and mobile phones.

Related Articles