Making The World A Cleaner Place

On 17 September 2011, the environmental club from Star College participated in the 2011 Beach Cleanup by cleaning up the Umbilo River passing through Trim Park in Pinetown. Armed with bin bags, gloves and sponsored caps, we took to the river, ready to do battle.

When we arrived at Trim Park, I thought, ‘Hmm… this river is not so dirty’, but upon closer inspection, I discovered that it was in fact infested with all kinds of filth. Dehini Rapeti, La’meez Osman and I decided to tackle the riverbank, whilst students from Grade 8D went straight to the problem area. We discovered many hidden treasures in the grass, such as shoes and computer parts. This disappointed me, because I thought it was common knowledge not to dispose of electronic waste in the rivers, but clearly, I was wrong.

It also astonished me when we managed to fill one and a half bin bags with bottlesfished out of the river bank alone. It seemed that inhabitants neighbouring the river had decided to dispose of their waste in an area close by. It seemed like they did not realise the consequences of their actions because they seemed to be oblivious to the fact that plastic takes a long time to decompose.

Another shocking fact was that, the entire time that we were picking up litter, we did not once see a fish in the river. There were hardly any forms of life in the river except for a few tadpoles, showing that the high levels of pollution were negatively affecting the life in the river ecosystem. This was quite an eye opener as it showed just how severe the situation was.

The amount of litter collected at the end of the day was tremendous. We managed to fill up the bin of a truck, with litter composing of beer bottles, plastic bottles, and packets of tomato sauce, shoes, packets and papers. All in all, we had a lot of fun whilst making the world a cleaner place. We thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of picking up the litter whilst trying as hard as possible not to fall into the water. It also made us realize that the problem of pollution needs to be tackled as soon as possible, and if we all join hands and work together, we can become the solution.

Amitha DOODNATH – 10D

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