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Boom time for city rivers clean-up

Wednesday, November 08, 2017   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: water, environmental health, waste

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 7th November 2017

Two new litter cages with booms on either side are being installed on the Avon and Heathcote rivers to help keep the city's waterways clean.

The boom on the Avon has been placed on Dallington Terrace (below the outlet for Dudley Creek), while the Heathcote River boom will be placed on Cumnor Terrace (below the Woolston Cut) in the next couple of weeks.

Christchurch City Council Land Drainage Manager Keith Davison said it was clear a litter solution was needed for both rivers.

A boom collecting rubbish in the Heathcote River.“Our contractors regularly clean up the waterways, and community and user groups with an interest in the rivers have run clean up days over the last few years.  The 2016 "Mother of All Clean Ups” event saw community volunteers remove nearly 20 tonnes of rubbish from city rivers and the estuary, with a further 9.5 tonnes collected this year.

"While we’d obviously rather not have any rubbish in our rivers at all, the addition of the booms will help reduce the amount of in-organic waste and non-biodegradable plastics polluting the estuary and ocean. We know there is a need for this, and we’ve been working through the best solutions alongside our contractors City Care.

“We’ve positioned these cages on natural bends in the river so the flow of any floating litter should naturally go towards the booms. We obviously can’t put the booms right across the river because that would cause access issues. Those using the river for recreation, for example those in kayaks, can easily navigate around them,” Mr Davison said.

The litter cages have a one way flap or gate, with large booms out either side of the gate. The litter cannot be dislodged once in the cage.

“We want to make it clear that the cages don’t impede water flow and do not increase any risk of flooding. The cages will be emptied regularly by City Care staff and the contents will be weighed and monitored so we can get a good read on what is happening with litter in our waterways.”

Booms had previously been in place on both rivers. The Heathcote boom was removed in around 2000 and the Avon boom was removed after being damaged by the Canterbury earthquakes.

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