Every Melburnian knows the Yarra River doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to cleanliness. You wouldn’t drink from it and you certainly wouldn’t jump in it after winning the 1992 Australian Open (Ahem, Jim Courier). So naturally we thought we’d collate the most borked stuff found at the bottom of the river in its most recent cleanup. Yummy!
Let’s start with the obvious — e-bikes, o-bikes, shared bikes. They’ve had many names since they first hit our streets. During that entire time, Melbourne has had a storied love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with them.
Back in 2017 the situation got so bad that a bloke created a new sport called “oBike fishing” which is exactly what it sounds like.
Wow nature is healing, the oBikes have returned to the Yarra River pic.twitter.com/MqJYocBBrx
— corgi (@courtwhip) April 20, 2020
— Rosie Thomas OAM 💪🌈 (@1RosieThomas) March 8, 2018
This year is no exception. According to The Australian, a shit tonne of shared bikes were present in this week’s clean.
A new find in this time around was a laundry basket (???). Not sure who’s doing their washing in such a way that their basket ends up in the dregs of the Yarra but if you are, find God immediately.
A bunch of traffic cones, shopping trolleys, plastic chairs and tyres were also found lurking on the magical riverbed I like to call “dirty Atlantis”.
In the video below, we can also see what could either be a giant javelin, an enormous dildo or a giant blowgun being fished out.
Shocked to see what was dredged out of the Yarra River today. pic.twitter.com/kYMT0VtfLw
— Dr Aovana Timmerman (@Dr_A_Timmerman) August 5, 2022
Next up, a bunch of polystyrene was collected by the 18 litter traps (ew) installed by Parks Victoria.
These traps are supposedly emptied twice every week (double ew).
Here’s a comparison between two southern Australian rivers of a comparable size. The Yarra River, Melbourne, photographed today, and the Davey River, SW Tas, photographed in Jan 2022. The Davey has a completely uninhabited catchment. pic.twitter.com/SOoD4xzhTv
— John McLaine (@j_d_mclaine) August 13, 2022
Not only is polystyrene a choking hazard to wildlife but as a micro-plastic, it can have devastating effects on the cleanliness of our water and the environment in general.
So next time you’re doing your laundry, please remember not to dump your basket and/or polystyrene in the Yarra River. Thank you, kind citizen.