Zagreb Speleological Union recently initiated the "Clean underground" project, a unique effort aimed at mapping and cleaning illegal waste dumps found in Croatian caves.
This volunteer work is done by speleologists in order to raise awareness about this issue to the general public. So far over 600 underground waste dumps have been documented. These contain large amounts of communal, medical, construction and organic waste, often even explosive devices.
Croatia is knows for its many and big marvellous caves, but as many caves are near towns or close to roads they are easily accessible to people. Unfortunately, this is why up to ten percent of them have been used as illegal waste dumps!
Caves are a direct link between surface waterways and the underground karst aquifers that store 60% of the drinking water. Thus, when potable water drains through these waste dumps, the quality of drinking water in large urban areas gets compromised.
These admirable volunteers organize cleaning campaigns and cooperate with the local fire and police departments in order to deal with the more dangerous types of waste found. In the course of a single year, they have cleaned six caves and pits, removing over 21 cubic meters of waste and 41 pieces of explosive devices.
For doing this job the teams use the ActSafe PME Power Ascender.
The representative of the speleologist says "In all our efforts an invaluable tool proved to be the ActSafe PME Power Ascender. Using it as an anchor we easily extracted the material from depths of up to 40 metres. In our setup we use a Tyrolean traverse (used in cave rescue missions), and a pulling rope clipped into the PME. For us, it's a key point to have simple, robust and reliable equipment that performs in difficult conditions such as wet and muddy ropes. Time after time, the PME proved ideal for the job."
ActSafe is proud to support this great effort to clean up nature and ensure healthy drinking water to people in Croatia
You can see more photos from the clean-up campaign here.
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