Sofas and mattresses removed in Ipswich canal clean-up

Greenways Project digger in Ipswich

The digger helping to clear Alderman Canal in Ipswich. - Credit: Greenways Project/IBC

A team from Ipswich's Greenways Project had to call in a digger and other heavy equipment to clear mattresses and sofas that had been dumped in the Alderman Canal, not far from the town centre.

Three old mattresses and three sofas were removed during an all-day clean-up on Thursday - but the team will still have to return in a few weeks in their boat to remove the floating rubbish.

The Greenways Project is managed by Ipswich council, with support from other local authorities in the area to manage and protect nature areas in and around the town.

Manager James Baker said the operation at Alderman Canal this week was difficult because of the size of the materials they were having to deal with.

Mattress found by Greenways Project in Ipswich

Old mattresses were found in Ipswich's Alderman Canal. - Credit: Greenways Project/IBC

He said: "When they absorb water, old mattresses and sofas become very heavy.

"The only way you can get them out is with heavy plant like the digger that we brought in. Then we have to take them away.

"We were called in by the owner of land on the opposite side of the canal to act as contractors in this - but that enabled up us to get in the equipment he needed."

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Mr Baker was at a loss to understand why large items like mattresses and furniture were dumped in the canal.

"I suppose I can understand the logic of fly-tipping in a remote rural area, but it must have taken quite an effort to get them over the fence and thrown into the water - and certainly made it more difficult to clear up."

Digger at Alderman Canal in Ipswich

The Greenways Project removed large rubbished dumped in Ipswich's Alderman Canal - Credit: Greenways Project/IBC

And he was anxious that local residents didn't think that was the end of their efforts in the canal.

He said: "Winter is the busiest time of the year for us anyway, so we have a great deal to do at the moment - but we are aware that there is still a lot of floating rubbish in the canal.

Clearing the Alderman Canal in Ipswich

Greenways Project teams cleared large rubbish from the Alderman Canal in Ipswich. - Credit: Greenways Project/IBC

"As soon as we can we will be getting out our boat and clearing the floating rubbish that is still in the canal. It is a very important site for us and we don't want people to think we're just leaving it like that!"

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