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Page last updated at 08:58 GMT, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 09:58 UK
Clean-up of rivers in Chelmsford hailed a success
The River Can in Central Park, Chelmsford
The River Can and Chelmer were given a good cleaning

Organisers of a clean of Chelmsford's rivers believe there is less rubbish being dumped in the town's waterways.

Around 100 volunteers, scuba divers and local council staff took part in an autumn river clean on 9, October

Chelmsford Borough Council's Jackie Lane said their trawls for rubbish seemed to be discouraging litter louts.

"When there isn't much [rubbish] around, people tend to drop less. So it really seems to be working and there is less litter in the area now," she said.

"We do it twice a year and have found it really helps keep on top of the litter.

"We're now seen otters coming back to the area and otters will only come to a clean river, so there's proof that we are winning," she told BBC Essex.

Jackie, who is the council's Neighbourhood Environmental Action Team officer described the kinds of things they have found during their river cleans.

What we're planning to do is double the amount of cleaning we do and double the amount of bins,
Cllr Roy Whitehead

"We've pulled out suitcases full of clothes, we find a lot of shoes; we once found a mannequin, which was a bit scary thinking it was a dead body coming out of the water!" she said.

"But usually it's things like tables and chairs that have been thrown in.

"Unfortunately we get a lot of lifebuoys which is such a shame because they're there to save lives and people have thrown them in for a bit of fun."

Cllr Roy Whitehead, leader of Chelmsford Borough Council, added the administration was putting further measures in place to reduce litter in and around the town's rivers and canals.

"What we're planning to do is double the amount of cleaning we do and double the amount of bins," he said.

"It should be before Christmas because that's when we'll be getting large numbers of people here.

"So I authorised an increase in the budget so we can make sure people have somewhere they can put their litter, because if there's nowhere to put it they'll drop it on the floor."

Watch: Chelmsford Borough Council's Youtube video of the Autumn river litter pick




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