Cleaners pull out nearly a ton of trash from Emajõgi River

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Trash taken out of Emajõgi River. Source: ERR

Nearly a ton of trash was taken out of the Emajõgi River during a clean-up initiative this year. There was a large amount of shopping carts found in the midtown area and pots, pans and jars were common in the Supilinn district.

More than 40 volunteers were active on the Emajõgi riverside and underwater on Saturday with an aim to clean the river passing through Estonia's second largest city, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

In previous years, the volunteers have mostly been around the midtown area, but this year the initiative went a bit further out of town.

"What is very different this year is that we are on the border of Supilinn and there are a lot of pots, pans and jam jars. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of glass shards and Sovetskoje (a brand of champagne - ed) bottles. And the most exciting finding this year has been a garden cart. We initially thought it was a motorbike, one with a sidecar, but it ended up just being a cart," said Janek, a volunteer diver.

"Some kind of small tricycle, a big pipe, a motorcycle, whatever," said Erwan, another diver.

Those interested in diving to the bottom of Emajõgi River must first go through diving training. Even more preparatory work must be done before submerging. "Preparation consists of having to take a sonar through the area to map it, noting interesting coordinates, because finding something underwater is relatively random as vision is 20-30 cm," Janek explained.

Compared to midtown, the area near Tartu's Lodjakoda saw trash more scattered. Regardless, nearly a ton of waste was removed from the river and taken to a waste station.

Maremark diving club instructor Alo Toom added that the situation has improved over the years. "Removing waste is not the only goal. The goal is to raise awareness so that normal people would not throw their bottles into the water. A normal person does not take their tires to the river. A normal person comes to the water, catches fish, enjoys it, dives. But waste goes elsewhere," Toom said.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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