VOLUNTEERS dedicated to cleaning up a canal say they are on the verge of giving up after a huge number of trolleys they pulled from the water recently were all dumped back in.

Members of Linnvale Community Group (LCG) removed 30 shopping trolleys at a “considerable effort” from the Forth and Clyde Canal in Clydebank town centre around four weeks ago.

Glasgow Times: The trolleys reportedly sat for over a week before they were pushed back inThe trolleys reportedly sat for over a week before they were pushed back in (Image: LCG)Stuart Gray, a member of LCG, told the Glasgow Times that after the trolleys were taken out of the water the group contacted Scottish Canals – who manage Scotland’s canal network - to pick them up.

However, the trolleys were not collected and 28 of them were thrown back in.

Stuart explained that the volunteers have been left “utterly disheartened” particularly since this is not the first time this has happened.

He said: “My two colleagues and I removed 30 trolleys from the canal.

“It took us over two hours. Since then 28 of the trolleys were chucked back in. To say that we are furious and utterly disheartened would be an understatement.

“Previously we pulled 52 trolleys out of the canal and most of them were from Asda. We’ve reported this to the manager of Asda in Clydebank who told us there is a company employed to retrieve them and bring them back however they don’t pull them out of the canal.

“We also reported this to the canal board who employ a company to pick them up but the trolleys sat there for weeks.

“Of the 52 that we fished out the first time all 52 were thrown back in because they weren’t collected in a timely manner.

“You’ve no idea how disheartening that is.”

Glasgow Times: Volunteers pulled 52 trolleys from the canal in February 2023Volunteers pulled 52 trolleys from the canal in February 2023 (Image: LCG)For a number of years now volunteers at LCG have been organising and taking part in weekly litter picks along a three-mile stretch of the canal towpath from Duntreath Avenue to Dalmuir Drop Lock.

Stuart said that the volume of litter continues to increase but the group has carried on despite it being a “thankless task” as there are concerns over the impact it could have on the local wildlife and scenery.

Now, the team say they are on the verge of “entirely abandoning” this effort as “no one seems to care”.

They are also calling on Scottish Canals and local shops to take action to tackle littering.

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times: Litter in the canalLitter in the canal (Image: LCG)Stuart added: “This [LCG] is entirely voluntary and our group has been reduced to three regulars. We litter pick on the towpaths and in the canal and week after week we are seeing the same amount of litter.

“A lot of folks simply don’t care and just use the canal as a dumping ground. We persist at it because we recognise that if we don’t do it, it will just accumulate and get worse.

“We’re trying to keep on top of it but it’s a thankless task. The canal is such a wonderful resource. It’s a rural passageway through an urban area and some people don’t appreciate it.

“I’m sure the litter is dangerous for the wildlife. If the trolleys had decent locks on the wheels that could help.

“They’re supposed to be limited to a certain distance from the store that supplies them so that they can’t be pushed further but they don’t seem to be working on a lot of them.

“The size of this problem is huge and it is time some positive steps were taken to address it.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Canals said: “We are disappointed that this has happened. Whilst we are extremely grateful that members of the public undertake activities to maintain and improve their local environment, supermarkets should have proper control measures in place to prevent trolleys from leaving their property.

“The illegal dumping of litter and trolleys in our canals is unsightly and causes environmental risks to both canal users and wildlife as well as the unnecessary expense for their removal by our waterway operatives.

“Scottish Canals would welcome support from retailers to find innovative ways to prevent trolleys entering our waterways.”

An Asda spokesperson added: “All of our trolleys are coin-operated and whilst we know that the majority of our customers look after our trolleys, if anybody happens to spot one of our trolleys anywhere they shouldn’t be, they can let us know by calling 0800 0933 350 or by downloading the Collex App so the trolley can be collected as soon as possible.”