The items found at the bottom of the Ljubljanica river stand on display before being taken out to the landfill, Source: DPA Vivera

Ljubljana puts rubbish fished out of river on public display

Ljubljana puts rubbish fished out of river on public display

It’s not a pretty sight to behold and that’s exactly the message to residents

During the weekend the annual Za lepšo Ljubljano (“For a more beautiful Ljubljana”) ecological clean-up campaign wrapped up its 31st edition with something of a grand finale. This concerned the removal of illegally-dumped garbage from the bottom of the Ljubljanica river that crosses the Slovenian capital and then displaying it for everyone to see at the Shoemakers’ Bridge.

The move is meant to be a poignant reminder that man-made pollution is an unsightly and shameful issue and should not be tolerated. The good news, however, is that the amount of trash fished out of the local riverbed has drastically decreased over the past decade.

Professional divers and Ukrainian volunteers

The overall clean-up campaign lasted for a month and has become a traditional event fixture in a city that aims to stand out and be recognized for its green credentials.

The cleaning of the river, which charmingly flows through the old town of the Slovenian capital, required the effort of 34 divers from the Slovenian Diving Association, joined by four divers from Ukraine and about 50 firefighters, rescuers and boatmen. Among the volunteers who helped clean the banks of the river were also some Ukrainian refugees, who wanted to express their gratitude to the country that welcomed them.

Divers lifted from the Ljubljanica bottom about a ton of waste, including items like scooters, bicycles, shopping carts and traffic signs.

According to Miro Potočnik, president of Vivera Underwater Activities Association, which co-organized the initiative, there is less and less waste in the Ljubljanica. "If I compared this to 10 years ago, we lifted four tons back then, and maybe 500 kilograms today. I think we will slowly realize that water is a treasure," he said, as quoted by RTV Slovenia.

According to the state broadcaster, some of the passers-by were glad that the idea to display the river garbage took place on the weekend as this gave the chance for more people to see it and take note.



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