Grand clean up: Volunteers collect tones of rubbish from lake Baikal

Hundreds of volunteers took to the banks of Russia’s lake Baikal to collect trash left after the tourist season. The annual ecological event resulted in 18 large trucks of rubbish including cans, bottles, plastic and even a fridge.

Rubbish collection took place simultaneously at 22 locations with some 400 hundred volunteers taking part in it. The event, organized by environmental activists, was called “360 minutes for Baikal.”

Most of the rubbish was chaotically scattered on the ground, but there were also 14 scrap-heaps where people had thrown trash just because others had.

Glass bottles, cellophane, cans and paper collected during the clean up were taken to recycle centers. Volunteers added that they had gathered one large truck of scrap metal that is also to be recycled.

“Our main target is not just to clean up the banks of Baikal, but also to raise ecological awareness and the cultural level of those who come to visit the lake, so there will be nothing to clean up in the future,” said a spokesperson for En+ Group, one of the companies helping to organize the campaign.

After the mass tidy, activists set up signs urging visitors to keep the area clean.

Lake Baikal in Siberia is a unique lake containing about 20 percent of the world's unfrozen surface fresh water.

The lake’s picturesque sceneries attract tens of thousands of tourists from Russia and abroad on a yearly basis.

RIA Novosti / Ilya Pitalev
RIA Novosti / Ilya Pitalev