Our canals and rivers are enjoyed by millions of people every year. Most of them appreciate that they are safe and pleasant places to visit so leave them as they found them.
However, each year we still clean up hundreds of tonnes of floating litter, towpath litter, fly tipped waste, dog poo and pollution to make sure other people’s rubbish doesn’t spoil your enjoyment of our waterways.
Cleaning this up diverts funds away from essential maintenance and restoration work. The good news is that it’s easy to help us keep our canals, rivers and towpaths tidy. Here’s how…
Over the course of a year we’ll empty around 46,000 litter and dog bins and 2,000 skips.
Much of this waste we try to save from landfill:
Gentle reminder: Our bins are for general domestic waste, such as food and non-recyclable packaging. Please take large items such as mattresses and tyres to your nearest council recycling centre.
We’re dedicated to recycling more and aim to increase the amount of recycling points available for customers with our Green Plan.
Please contact us if you see:
We don’t have a used oil or bilge waste disposal service. In fact, we spend thousands of pounds every year disposing waste that boat owners need to dispose of themselves. Please take your waste oil to the nearest dedicated local authority site.
To dog owners: you’ll find dog bins at many places along the towpaths. These are emptied periodically. If the bin is full, or where there are no bins, please take your litter home with you.
To dogs: Grrrr, bark, woof!
Visitors love coming to our waterways. And many of you take an interest in the weird and wonderful items that sometimes lie at the bottom of the canal. However, magnet fishing can have its dangers. Consequently, you are not allowed to magnet fish in our waterways. And here’s why…
Magnet fishers have recently pulled items that have been left in the canal and that were potentially dangerous, such as a WW2 hand grenade! While these items had been in the water a very long time, fishing them out with magnets could have harmed the person concerned. So, because we want you to stay just the way you are, we suggest you visit our angling pages and try that instead… it’s more fun!
We’ve a legal obligation to make sure the canals and rivers are free from any obstructions. Any work we do is from our own land and the cuttings are typically left on the non-towpath side of the waterway.
Please contact us if you see:
All our waterways are vulnerable to pollution. From small, accidental spills to major problems causing significant environmental damage. Around 300 pollution incidents are reported to us every year, costing between £50 and £50,000 each to resolve.
If you see pollution on our waterways, please:
When you report pollution please tell us the following information:
Our local teams take action to contain and minimise the impact of the pollution. If the pollution is serious, we support the Environment Agency or Natural Resources Wales who'll lead on responding to the incident.
Last date edited: 22 February 2018