On August 12, Grand-Toloka Clean Rivers campaign to clean-up coastal areas and near-coastal waters took place in Kharkiv.
Co-organizers Halina Zhuchkova and Vitaliy Borysenko decided to carry out the activities in Toloka-format. According to the ancient Ukrainian tradition, Toloka is one-time large-scale joint work performed by community members for free.
During the event, volunteers cleaned-up the area from the Heroiv Pratsi Street bridge across the Kharkiv river to the dam near Barabashovo market including the island in Hidropark. As a result, they cleared about 10 kilometers of coastal line.
About 150 people, on average aging between 30 and 40, joined the volunteer action. The youngest participant was under 2 years old. They were brought to the rally point and back by the motor boats. Each participant was responsible to clean their allocated area that helped make it possible to clear a large total length of the river.
Kayakers picked up trash from the water and reed areas while cyclists and foot volunteers cleaned near-coastal shore areas. During the clean-up trip, they picked and fished plastic bottles, bowls, all sorts of clothes, huge tires, utensils and even an old sofa.
Garbage bags were delivered to specific pick up points by the boats. Municipal services will remove it by refuse trucks later.
At the end of the campaign, volunteers managed to gather 10 tons of trash. After the hard work, all the participants were treated with 80 liters of porridge.
It’s not the first time when such events took place in Kharkiv. In June, 45 volunteers, including people on foot and kayakers, collected 16 cube meters of garbage. In July, 13 kayaks, ten motor boats and 70 people gathered about ten cube meters of trash.
All three events were arranged with the assistance of City Kayaks active recreation club that provided kayaks. For the latest campaign, two tourist clubs, Three Forces of Nature and Eco-Tour, assisted with 20 watercraft. The event co-organizer Vitaliy Borysenko, the owner of Borika firm, provided motor-boats for the previous two events.
According to Halina Zhuchkova, the campaign’s goal is to draw people’s attention to river pollution with the litter which people leave behind after picnics or irresponsibly throw into rivers. Such events save the river ecosystem and environment from pollution with garbage and change people’s attitude towards the environment helping in their small way to save the planet.
The next Toloka-Party Clean Rivers Kharkiv will be on September 15.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: Grand-Toloka Clean Rivers’ Organizers