The first results of the Clean Streams research into litter in the Geul and the Roer have been published.
On 29 March 2021, the Limburg Water Board published the results on their website
As part of the Litter Free Rivers and Streams (LIVES) project, waterschap Limburg has been conducting research in collaboration with IVN Natuureducatie since September 2020. The research into the amount of litter is carried out in the Geul and the Roer. The research focuses on knowledge gathering, recognizing seasonal influences and mapping source areas. Several millers, contractors and dozens of volunteers help to better map the litter. Goal: to make our streams, rivers and ultimately the sea cleaner.
Clean Streams (Schone Beken) research
Waterboard Limburg has focused on the millers at the Geul and on the use of a floating beam and the krooshekreiniger at the ECI Hydro-electric Power Plant. At these rivers, the litter is analyzed monthly using a peat list. This indicates what has been found per location. Striking items such as a large amount of the same type of waste are listed separately. The millers at the Geul have been approached because they collect litter from the mill. They do this because litter and wood can cause damage to the paddle wheel. One of the millers who participates in this research is Molen Otten: ”We come across various pieces of litter, from plastic bottles to tractor tires. They’re being taken out by contractors with an excavator. In addition, we also want to contribute to this research to make the rivers cleaner”.
Arnold Jansen, member of the executive board: ‘With this research we want to better analyze litter and identify possible source areas. Identifying and approaching the source areas is essential to reduce the amount of litter in the rivers. We also look at the seasonal influences. It is therefore special to enter into cooperation with the millers, IVN Nature Education, IVN volunteer network and the business community. We all have the same goal, to make and keep our rivers cleaner.”
The first results show differences between the Trench and the Rudder. At the Geul, 53% of the waste found is plastic, sanitary & medical. At the Roer this percentage is higher, at 73%, followed by metal (cans), glass, paper and textiles. Many bottles and jars have been found in both rivers, but most plastic food packaging and Styrofoam have been found at the Roer. The cause of the differences between the two locations is being investigated further.
For more information go to Waterschap Limburg!