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The cleaning year 2020 – Volunteers, wild fillings and pandemics

Since 2018, DNV and partners have arranged clean-up operations and worked with stray waste that goes astray with funds from the Norwegian Environment Agency and the Norwegian Trade Fund's Environmental Fund. Like so many others, we were very uncertain about what the clean-up year 2020 would be like, considering that we planned to take people out on volunteer work and collaborate with schools and associations at a time when everyone has more than enough to contend with before.

The planned clean-up work in the spring was canceled, as the situation around the spread of Covid-19 was still very unclear, but in September we chose to carry out a two-week action in connection with Keep Norway Clean’s national clean-up work. There was still great uncertainty associated with the interest in this in the middle of homeschooling and cohorts, but it turned out to be many – more specifically 120 classes, who wanted to contribute to cleaner water and watercourses in the local environment. All the classes made an impressive effort and were given motivational funds as a thank you for clearing a total of over six tonnes of waste along the Randsfjord and Lake Mjøsa!

The classes that participated in the clean-up action were also in the draw for a free workshop together with the award-winning environmental artists Kari Prestgaard and Astor Andersen. They make great pictures with plastic pieces together with the children and give informative lectures about plastic and the environment. Six classes came to the Wetland Center and participated in a workshop with great success, and beautiful pictures were made of insects associated with wetlands.

In addition to the volunteer-based clean-up actions, DNV has worked with mapping and cleaning up wild landfills with stray waste along water and on land. To date, 42 wild landfills or heavily littered areas have been registered, and nine of these have been cleared and resulted in 25 tonnes of waste. Several of the landfills were cleared with the help of school classes with older students, Russian groups, teams and associations. These are often demanding actions with heavy objects and steep terrain. One of the wild landfills was so steep that DNV could not clear there either, and we therefore contacted access technicians from Høyden AS who cleared the landfill with winch and safety equipment.

We hope and believe that our work contributes to increased knowledge about littering and the consequences it may have for the local environment. Research shows that clearing littered areas significantly reduces the chance of someone throwing waste there again.

DNV would like to thank everyone who has made an effort and contributed to reducing littering with a total of 32 tonnes of stray waste in the water areas Randsfjorden and Mjøsa in 2020! When everyone does a little, a lot happens!