Barry Walker and Shaun Callaghan have come up with an innovative way to stop river litter from getting to the ocean by using recycled bottles
Innovation is everywhere so it is no surprise that two South Africans have come up with a pretty clever solution to river litter. Barry Walker and Shaun Callaghan are tackling a problem by using recycled materials.
Barry has been working around Amanzimtoti for some time now to make sure the area is clean and litter free. Earlier in the year, he took on the task of cleaning up the Ilanda Wilds near the Zulu King Sharka monument. He and his fellows from the Amanzimtoti Sports Centre and the Amanzimtoti Cycling Club worked on restoring the area, repainting signs and general clean-up.
We had a chance to catch up with Barry and he confirmed that cleaning up the surrounding areas is a big passion of his. As a mountain biker and chairman of the Cycling club, the cause is one close to his heart. He sees the amount of litter scattered around the parks and trails, so working to combat it is his form of civic duty.
Now he and Shaun are working to combat the amount of litter that enters the ocean via the rivers. They came up with a concept to use 2-litre bottles as a barrier to catch litter.
They strapped 4 2-litre bottles together, made a chain and then wrapped them in green shade cloth. This creates a small barrier that easily floats above the water line, stopping any floating litter from flowing downstream. The first boom was placed in the Amanzimtoti River near the taxi rank due to large amounts of litter entering the river there.
“When we were on-site at the river, constructing the boom, a homeless man told us we shouldn’t use sinkers to weigh down the shade cloth, as they will be stolen. We decided to rather place opened plastic two litre bottles on the ends, as they will fill with water and weigh down the shadecloth,” – Shaun Callaghan
The guys have identified 3 more spots within the area that these booms could be effective and have asked locals to help them collect bottles and shade cloth to build more booms. The collected bottles can be dropped off at Produce Direct along Main Road in Dooneside.
They plan to focus on a few more clean-ups but hope that the municipality will focus on keeping the area clean as it is their responsibility. We love when everyday citizens take up causes like this and work to better their neighbourhoods. Doing it for free, using their own time and resources, and working to better the space for everyone gives us real GEES!
Shaun filmed a video of the litter boom which you can watch below.