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Kayakers haul over 3 tons of rubbish out of Hamburg's waterways


Great success for "Green Kayak" initiative in Hamburg

Residents of Hamburg, who rented green kayaks free of charge at six different paddle stations, have hauled 3,166 kg of waste out of waterways. The kayaks were booked 936 times on condition that kayakers clear the waterways of waste. Users spent 3,744 hours on the Alster, the canals, the Goose Elbe and the Bille marking a great success for the initiative. The rubbish was weighed and transported away in bins provided by the city cleaning service. The initiative, which originated in Denmark, and launched in Hamburg last April, can now look back on a successful year.

Initiative to be continued

The month of May proved the most successful and one tonne of waste was collected in total. “We were immediately convinced by the ‘Green Kayak’ concept, and the course of the season shows that the people of Hamburg agree. As the first city in Germany, we have created a new opportunity to combine recreational fun with an important cause and to actively do something for cleanliness in the city,” said Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment. This initiative will be relaunched in spring 2020 in the hope of encouraging more residents of Hamburg residents to get involved.

Hamburger fischen Müll aus den Gewässern
© Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg

“Green Kayak” expanding

The kayaks can be rented from six different Hamburg rental companies from the start of the 2020 kayaking season. After Copenhagen and Aarhus, Hamburg was the first city outside of Denmark to go hunting for waste aboard the kayaks. Meanwhile, kayakers have taken to waterways in Berlin, Dublin, Stockholm, Bergen, Aalborg, Præstø and Odense. The Ministry for the Environment is backing the project in Hamburg for another two years.

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Melissa KnausJan. 15, 2020