Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How clean is the Thames - on TV

I'm still fighting a rather irritating little bug so have a bit of time on my hands to check out the on-demand TV services of UK channels. I don't often switch over to Channel 5 as it's known as the home of the "When Celebrity Nazi Sharks Kill!!!" sort of program, but there were two watchable shows on Monday.

First up there was a "How do they do it?" about how they keep the Thames clean, by which they mean clean of rubbish. Its actually relatively unpolluted (for an urban river) and there are some 120 types of fish living in it.

But there is a lot of junk (above). So the rather hyper-active presenter Robert Lewellyn goes out on the aptly named Driftwood III (below), to pick up some of the 600 tonnes of waste in the river. On the river they took the rubbish out of the 9 passive driftwood collectors to dump in land fills.

They also went along to shore line at low tide picking up the non-floating rubbish such as one of the 250 shopping trollies found each year. Apparently they find about one car a month (some dumped and some "mis-parked") - once even an Aston Martin!

You should be able to watch it here - and also find out how they make bullet proof cars and Ikea makes and stores its flat pack furniture. The Thames bit is in the middle after about 7 minutes of bullet proof cars.

3 comments:

Greg Andkris said...

Thanks for the Channel 5 lowdown. I was jeg lagged and flipping around and saw this really odd conversation between Coolio and Tommy (something-or-other, a Scottish political figure) about how to market something or other. Watched for a while trying to figure out what the heck this show was (I think my head was tilted the way my dog tilts his when I say multi-syllable words to him). Finally wrote it off as some celebrities-in-a-house-together deal and flipped away, never to return.

Annie said...

Does the UK have a day like ours? We have Clean Up Australia day which this year is on 1 March.
http://www.cleanup.com.au/au/

Lots of people head outside and collect rubbish of all kinds from parks, the roadside, beach and water. Cars and trucks are salvaged from watery graves.

My two bugbears are plastic bags and cigarette butts.

Not surprisingly, there's always plenty more to be collected each year because the collectors are not the litterers. At least I don't think they're like arsonists who belong to a fire brigade. I hope not anyway.

JP said...

Greg: C5 isn't the UK's broadcasting jewel by any means. But it is home of that all Australian classic - Neighbours (ah... Melbourne:)

....which neatly brings me to Annie: that sounds like a great idea! Its plastic that bugs me the most as most types don't bio-degrade for ages and cause all sorts of problems.

There is a volunteer charity that organises clean ups of the Thames that is on my to do list:

http://www.thames21.org.uk/