‘Stop using Sheffield canal as a dumping site’

Debris pulled out of canal
Debris pulled out of canal
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Water way to show Sheffield it’s cleaning up its act.

Rusty bikes, stolen supermarket trollies and rotting rubbish were all plucked from the murky depths of the Sheffield Canal during an underwater clean-up operation.

More than 40 divers took the plunge in the Dive for Debris event, designed to highlight the need for cleaner, safer waterways in the city.

The team, led by Diveworld Sheffield, were stationed alongside the popular Five Weirs Walk to show how rubbish and fly-tipping is blighting the beauty spot.

Steve Hird, master instructor at Diveworld, said: “We camped out at the side of a pretty waterway, a safety briefing set the ball rolling, and then our willing volunteers splashed into the unknown – the dark, forbidding waters!

“They proceeded to uncover a seemingly never-ending stream of debris that had been cluttering up the waterway, including an astonishing 38 supermarket trolleys.

“The surface team also worked their socks off loading the debris onto trucks to be taken for recycling.”

Now their campaign is being backed by Sheffield Council and the Canal and Rivers Trust.

The message is clear – stop dirtying the waterways of Sheffield.

Jon Horsfall, waterways manager at South Yorkshire’s Canal and River Trust, said: “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.

“Some of the items pulled out are really harmful to wildlife and could also pose problems for boats on the water.

“As a charity, items carelessly dumped in local waterways are a real drain on our resources, costing us thousands of pounds each year, but it’s also really sad to see people treating their own local waterways in this way.

“That’s why it’s so heartening to see volunteers coming forward and taking action to make things better for their local community.

“It would be fantastic to see more local people taking ownership of their waterways in this way and playing their part in enhancing Sheffield’s thriving waterways.”

Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment at Sheffield Council, added: “It is really great to see the local community pulling together and the work will make a huge difference to the area.

“We are doing all we can to prevent fly-tipping and cracking down hard. It is vital the local community works with us to report fly-tipping in their area so we can tackle this problem together.”