Waste accumulation in Prielom Hornádu cause for concern

The army could be called in to help.

(Source: Courtesy of Mária Šimoňáková)

The accumulation of waste in Prielom Hornádu in the national park Slovenský Raj after intense rainfall was not produced by tourists but by inhabitants of nearby villages, said director of the Administration of the national park, Tomáš Dražil.

He confirmed that the amount of waste at touristic routes, paradoxically, decreases, but the current amount of waste in the water is extreme and has never been so bad. He said that the amount of trash in the water has increased, so they decided to organise a meeting with mayors of the surrounding villages to come up with a solution.

Plastic bottles everywhere

“We need to agree on who would clean it and who would eliminate the rubbish after,” Dražil said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He said that the priority is Prielom Hornádu, but waste needs to be collected throughout Hornád to prevent it from flowing downstream during heavy rain again.

He added that the majority of the waste is plastic, about 50 percent of it is plastic bottles. He welcomed the amendment of the Environment Ministry to return plastic bottles on deposit, which should help solve the current problem.

Related story:Canoeists clean Hornád Canyon Read more 

Tons of waste accumulated in the 13-kilometre-long part of Hornád that flows through Slovenský Raj, from Hrabušické Mýto to Čingov. Waste accumulation is the worst between Letanovský Mill and Hrdlo Hornádu, where wooden weirs have been created and the trash is being collected. The riverbanks are covered in trash, rags hang from trees.

Volunteers and army might help

The park's administration would like to clean the river before winter comes. However, the weather is against them as intense rain continues and it is not possible to enter Hornád, Spiš Korzár reported.

Volunteers have already shown their interest through social networks. Canoeists also promised to lend a helping hand. Dražil said for Spiš Korzár that cleaning would require several events. He might also turn to the army for help, as they have the needed equipment and human force.

“Cleaning Prielom is demanding and detailed work,” Dražil said, as quoted by Spiš Korzár. “But the surface needs to subside.”

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