News article created on 18 August 2021

We've launched our first refuse collection boats

Boaters on the Kennet & Avon Canal having problems disposing of their rubbish got a helping hand from our first refuse collection boats.

Refuse collection boat Refuse collection boat

The 40’ long work boats, Sulis and Vale of Pewseyset off from Bath and Bradford on Avon on a two-hour journey to meet at Dundas, stopping to collect the rubbish along the way.

Bringing the tip to boaters

Each year, we spend more than £10k collecting rubbish from three sites along the waterway. The majority of this is general waste but there are many larger items from boats, such as old fridges, sofas and stoves, that should be taken to the tip.

It’s often hard for boaters to get these taken away, or for them to get to local refuse sites. So, every three months, our team will be bringing the tip to the them.

Helping keep the waterways clean

Lee Brain, our area operations manager, explains: “With more people living along the canal it is inevitable that more refuse will be generated. Over the last four years the amount we’re collecting has doubled.

Sadly, we have also seen an increase in fly tipping. We’ve been clearing around 25-30m3 of fly tipping a week – the equivalent of two large construction skips – from sites along the Kennet & Avon Canal.

“Our ‘floating tip’ is intended to help our boating communities to keep the Kennet & Avon looking its very best and at the same time taking waste away so it does not go to landfill. We look forward to seeing how much we’ve collected on our first trip.”

Current projects

Our 'floating tip' is part of a project focusing on the western end of the Kennet & Avon Canal. We recently appointed a new ranger to give information and advice to people on the water and towpath, check signs, carry out smaller repairs and generally keep the area a welcoming and attractive place for everyone.

On 26 August we will be inviting people to an open afternoon to find out more about the Kennet & Avon Canal, get advice on boats and boating and answer any questions or concerns regarding the waterway.