In Denmark, a municipality spent over $ 150,000 a year cleaning up debris from beaches and then dumping it back into the water.
Danmarks Radio posted a video on its website showing a bulldozer in the waters of Stillinge Beach in Slagelse, Denmark. It appears that the dozer blade lifts and dumps a lot of material, including plastic, into the water, before coming back to shore.
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The bulldozer operator uses the rake and blade to scoop up algae and plastic along the shore of the beach. When the blade is full of debris, the bulldozer will move towards the water again. During the summer months in Denmark, this happens twice a week.
This process has been called “completely silly” by environmental experts.
Professor Torkel Gissel Nielsen, a faculty member at the National Aquatic Resources Institute, called the proposed method “stupid” because it requires scraping the algae with a noisy tractor, then dropping it into the water, then to bring the tractor back to the ground.
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Nielsen explained that this means what you just threw in the water will wash up on the beach immediately after.
Villum Christensen, deputy mayor of Copenhagen, defended the practice, arguing that bulldozers sweep up cigarette butts and other small debris, not plastic.
The cigarettes and other debris will be there anyway, Christensen said. When the water comes in, it accumulates things, and those things then go away.
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He said he wanted Stillinge Beach to be “clean and clean”.
The use of bulldozers to clean beaches is at least the second time in the past year that environmental experts have condemned Danish authorities for questionable practices. In May, Danish authorities unearthed millions of dead mink despite a warning from Denmark’s own environmental agency.