New Brunswick

Tubers' trash polluting river

Residents near a Taymouth, N.B., river say people who go tubing on the Nashwaak are leaving behind floating piles of trash that are posing an environmental risk.

Taymouth residents left to clean up

Residents near a Taymouth, N.B., river say people who go tubing on the Nashwaak are leaving behind floating piles of trash that are posing an environmental risk.

Garbage cans line the riverbanks, but most of the trash is dropped in the water. As tubing grows in popularity, residents are worried the river will become increasingly polluted.

On fine weekend days, hundreds of tubers can be seen bobbing down the river.

Marty Stewart owns Taymouth Ventures and Tubing, a company that rents inner tubes on the Nashwaak River. He said before he started the business, he lined the riverbanks with garbage cans.

"I saw tubers, kayakers and canoers going down the river with trash floating by their floatation devices," he said.

Stewart said the trash has also been an environmental problem because it gets stuck in the fishway where salmon are counted. The fishway has to be cleaned out daily during peak times.

Stewart said the garbage cans have helped, but some people just do not care.

"There are individuals out there that really have very little respect for private property and that has been my number one concern and hurdle to get over," he said.

Larry McDonald, who lives near the river, said the garbage cans are great, but they have not solved the problem. That leaves people like him to clean up the mess. 

"If we see any garbage along the river we pick it up, yeah," he said.

Stewart said he urges all of his customers to use the garbage cans, but an increasing number of people bring their own tubes.

He is considering limiting the number of drinks he will allow his customers to take out on the river next year to try and cut down on the floating trash.