A blow-up doll, golf buggies, pogo stick, flat screen TV and opened safes have all been recovered from local canals and rivers.
And at an annual cost of £1 million to clean up after litter-happy people, the Canal & River Trust (CRT) which looks after our waterways has decided enough is enough.
This winter the trust, which cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, has uncovered some very unusual items from the bottom of its canals and rivers, from an adult blow-up doll and golf buggies, to a pogo stick, a pair of walkie talkies and a garden fork.
Empty safes, motorbikes, countless shopping trolleys, tyres and mobile phones were also part of the winter haul and the charity removes thousands of cans, bottles, wrappers and plastic bags every year.
In a recent survey, commissioned by the Canal & River Trust, 96 per cent of people said that they didn’t think it was acceptable to drop litter, but 66 per cent still admitted to doing it.
Most of the discarded rubbish on the waterways sinks to the bottom of the canal or river bed, causing an invisible hazard to the environment and boats.
We should be protecting these special places not damaging themPeter Birch
Tyres and other rubbish contain pollutants which leak into the water and poison fish and other wildlife. Often rubbish acts as a choking hazard and wildlife can become trapped in it.
When asked, 80 per cent of people said that they were concerned about the amount of litter in their local area and the issue could leave a dirty legacy for generations to come.
Every year thousands of plastic bags (which take up to 20 years to break down) and drink cans (which can take up to 200 years) are thrown into the waterways.
Peter Birch, national environment manager for the CRT, said: “Rubbish being thrown into our canals and rivers is a problem that is not going away. We should be protecting these special places not damaging them.
“Our army of volunteers help us to clear rubbish but the funds that we have to allocate to it could be better spent.”
Anyone interested in supporting the work of the Canal & River Trust or who is interested in joining the regular towpath taskforce to make a difference to your local canal should visit the website for more information www.canalrivertrust.org.uk