My husband Josh and I had spent the previous summer collecting monofilament we came across along the shorelines of rivers and the boat launches here in the city. By the end of the season we had quite a pile. We recalled seeing PVC pipe style recycling bins on some of our fishing trips down in the states, and after doing a little more research we decided to try and get a fundraising program started to install some of these bins along the Bow River.
I reached out to Bow River Trout Foundation, and before I knew it a meeting was arranged to discuss details of the project. We decided that BRTF would work on getting approval from the various agencies to install the bins, and Josh and I would work on fundraising and bin building.
As it turned out, raising funds as the easy part! I handmade special bars of beer soap using a generous donations of locally crafted beer from Bow River Brewing and approached a few shops in the city to sell it. The fishing community was very enthusiastic of our plan, and with the sale of soap and extra donations from Fish Tales and Iron Bow Fly Shops we soon had raised enough to build the bins. th
Getting approval for site installations during a global pandemic ended up being the hard part- but, with patience and perseverance by our partner BRTF we were able to get bins installed at 4 boat launches along the Bow River last year. The best part was – people used them! We were thrilled when we emptied the bins at the end of the season and were able to send our collected line down to the Berkely Fishing Line Recyling Program in Iowa where they repurpose the line into other products.
This year we are looking at expanding the program to other sites along the Bow River, and perhaps beyond. These bins have proven themselves valuable in keeping our rivers and access sites clean, and we are hopeful the program will continue to expand and succeed with the help of our community.
If you have any locations outside of the Bow River where a bin could be successful, please get in touch with us so we can discuss the growth of the program in Alberta.