Connecting Waterpeople

Floating waste clogs the Drina River in the Balkans

  • Floating waste clogs the Drina River in the Balkans

About the entity

The Drina River, in the Balkans, once known for its beauty, has now islands of floating rubbish, reports Associated Press.

A hydropower plant in Bosnia has a barrier installed across the river to capture floating waste upstream of its dam, near the city of Visegrad, on the banks of the Drina in Bosnia. Last week, the barrier held massive amounts of floating debris, including plastic bottles, used tires, driftwood, etc., carried by the river and its tributaries.

Part of the Danube basin, the Drina River flows through Montenegro and forms a large portion of the border between Bosnia and Serbia. It runs 346 km and empties into the Sava River, the longest tributary of the Danube.

The waste is thought to originate from poorly managed landfills or sometimes may have been discarded directly into waterways. Recent heavy rainfall has caused rivers and streams in the catchment to flood, and the huge inflow of water has pulled a huge inflow of rubbish. Dejan Furtula, of the environmental organisation Eko Centar Visegrad, said waste accumulated behind the barrier most recently is estimated to amount to 10,000 cubic metres. A similar amount of waste was pulled from the river in past years.

It can take almost six months to collect the floating waste, which is taken to the landfill of the city of Visegrad, which unfortunately does not have capacity for it. “The fires on the (municipal) landfill site are always burning,” he noted, adding that the situation is “not just a huge environmental and health hazard, but also a big embarrassment for all of us.”

Some of the Balkan countries are still struggling to ensure environmentally safe waste disposal, and unauthorized waste dumps are a problem in the region. Air pollution is also affecting cities in the region.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Topics of interest

The data provided will be treated by iAgua Conocimiento, SL for the purpose of sending emails with updated information and occasionally on products and / or services of interest. For this we need you to check the following box to grant your consent. Remember that at any time you can exercise your rights of access, rectification and elimination of this data. You can consult all the additional and detailed information about Data Protection.