The waste piling up on the banks of the Vistula is a huge problem. Alan and Andy, the two enthusiasts of the Queen of Polish rivers, together with other runners, decided to declare war on rubbish – on Sunday 14 August they joined “Run Wisła” and cleaned up the bank of the river.
Alan and Andy, an Englishman and a Scotsman, run along the Vistula from its source and promote keeping the surroundings of the river and the water itself waste-free. A picnic took place on the Romantyczna beach in the Wawer district, organised by the Year of the Vistula River Foundation, and later volunteers cleaned up the rubbish dumped in the grass and bushes along the Vistula bank. Over half a tonne of waste was collected. Some of the items found were quite unusual – over a dozen barbecues, jackets, sleeping bags, underwear and four tyres.
The problem of the littered Vistula banks is also raised by the “Dzielnica Wisła. Wyjdź na czysto (The Vistula District. Come clean)” city campaign. “The campaign also covers voluntary waste collection from the river banks and the water,” emphasised Michał Olszewski, Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, who also took part in the cleaning during “Run Wisła”.
Also, during the weekend the mobile laboratory of the Municipal Water and Sewerage Company tested water from the river.
Alan and Andy have been running along the entire Vistula since 30 July. While running, they inspire others to keep the Vistula clean and test the purity of its water. They mention three reasons for taking up the run – first of all, it's a wonderful adventure. Second, it's beautiful out there by the Vistula, and you can admire the various faces of the river while running. Last but not least, waste along the Vistula banks is a major problem. The participants collect rubbish as they run, and also perform water tests and promote environmental awareness.