Rivers are the carrier of civilizations. They not only supply us with fresh drinking water and water for industry, heating and energy, they are also huge pollution abatement facilities carrying away our wastes and cleaning our waste waters. Luckily, in a lot of countries today, waste is not directly dumped into the rivers. Nevertheless, lots of plastic trash, scrap metals and glass can be found at the banks and in the riverbeds. Usually this is waste released into environment by littering near the river or even far away, from where it can be transported by rain water and wind into the streams.
We collected waste along the river banks of some rivers in Switzerland and Italy.According those investigations, the rivers there are holding between 4-40 kg (9-88 lbs)waste per river-km. We believe that this amount is renewed after each flood event. Our first investigation in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) revealed a waste amount of at least 54 kg (119 lbs) per river-km (0.6 miles) of the North Saskatchewan River, of which nearly 80% were plastic waste. We want to find out more about the composition and the amount of trash along rivers and perform a large-scale cleanup along the North Saskatchewan River.
We want to perform a large experiment by collecting waste along the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, weighting and categorizing it according its composition (plastics, textiles, steel, aluminum, pet, iron, glass). We will start this experiment in West-Edmonton near the Whitemud bridge (map) and proceed downstream. The goal is to collect waste along the banks of the river and to finally reach the Capilano bridge in the east (map). The cleanups will be performed by ourselves in series of 200-500 m (219-547 yards), which will take us 2-5 hours. We will systematically search the riverbanks for all kind of waste, documenting our progress. We estimate that we will need one year to clean the desired river distance of 15.6 river-km (9.7 miles).
For a funding of $4’500 we will clean the river banks on the right side. Should we reach the amount of $7’500, we will clean the river banks on both sides.
We will publish our results periodically on Facebook and on our homepage. With this large scale experiment we will be able to better understand freshwater pollution in industrialized countries.Support us to reach our goal and to perform this unique cleaning experiment!