Environmentalists collect garbage in Aegean town

Environmentalists collect garbage in Aegean town

MUĞLA - Doğan News Agency
Environmentalists collect garbage in Aegean town

Thirty Turkish and foreign people voluntarily clean up the Dalyan canal and the reeds surrounding it that are polluted by solid waste. DHA photo

Thirty people voluntarily have set out to clean up and collect garbage in the Aegean province of Muğla’s Dalyan district, which is famous for its Caretta Caretta habitat, İztuzu beach and tombs hewn out of the rock.

Maria Jonker, a 58-year-old retired English teacher from Netherlands who has been living in Dalyan since May 2009, and her husband, Co Jonker, initiated the cleanup after the protected area of the Dalyan canal and the reeds surrounding it were polluted by solid waste.

Cleaning every Thursday

Sponsored by a tourism firm, Maria Jonker has cleaned up the canal with five friends every Thursday for months. When she mentioned her work to other foreigners living in the area, the number of volunteer participants rose to 15. After the initiative was announced to the public, the number of volunteers increased to 30 within 10 days.

A packing company has also come on board to support the initiative, promising to provide bags that dissolve in nature to increase the environmentally friendly nature of the cleanup.

“Many things are thrown in the canal, including synthetic substances, bottles, plastic and insulation materials. And some materials drift into the canal due to storms. When it is not cleaned up, the waste could reach the sea, so we started cleaning work,” she said. “Our numbers have gradually increased, and I believe it will go on increasing. If everyone living in Dalyan keeps their neighborhood clean by their own means, the problem will be solved. After the sponsorships of boats and fuel, we have also found a sponsor for bags.”