AFTER THE summer tourist season ended in the High Tatra mountains, on September 26, a large group of volunteers joined forces to collect rubbish in the area. The volunteers included tourists, locals, and employees of the State Forests of the Tatras National Park (ŠL TANAP-u).
It was the 31st year of the Clean Mountains (Čisté hory) event, and more than 1,640 people filled about 800 bags with about 650 kilograms of waste. As every year, one third of the volunteers were elementary school pupils. The largest group of participants were in the western part of the mountains, in Orava, Habovka and Zverovka, where about 600 people volunteered.
The least waste was collected in the valleys around Oravice, whereas the most waste was picked up in Hrebienok, near Rainer’s and Zamkovský’s cottages, and from around the cable car station in Tatranská Lomnica, the coordinator of the event Igor Stavný of the ŠL TANAP-u told the TASR newswire. He added that many Czech tourists took part in this year’s cleaning drive.
The event also included cleaning of the brook in the village of Ždiar by 27 members of the top management of Enel Slovenské Elektrárne. From almost two kilometres of brook, they cleared about 700 kilograms of waste. On the banks of the stream and in the water they found plastic bottles, metal plates, old prams, but also construction material like doors, windows and even wheelbarrows.
Altogether, more than 33,000 volunteers from Slovakia and abroad have participated over the past 30 years. During that time they have collected about 51 tons of various types of waste from within the territory of the Tatras National Park. According to organisers, volunteers managed to rid the park of a significant environmental burden.
On Saturday, October 3, the Pieniny National Park (PIENAP) in north-eastern Slovakia enjoyed a similar clean up, organised in cooperation with the PIENAP administration.