The last time the city cleaned the stretch of canal, they discovered 40 tons of junk

By Alex Heigl
Updated January 06, 2016 12:00 PM
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Credit: REUTERS/Charles Platiau /LANDOV

Paris: The city of lights and old bikes.

City workers in Paris have drained three miles of the Canal-Saint Martin in the city’s trendy 10th arrondissement to refurbish the clogged waterway.

It’s the first time the canal has undergone a cleaning since 2001, when 40 tons of assorted junk was removed.

So what did they find? Well, first, the city had to drain the canal down to just under 20 inches of water to remove about 4.5 tons of fish and transfer them to a different portion of the canal. Among the first finds of the cleanup: a pistol, which they promptly handed over to police.

During the last cleanup, 40 tons of assorted trash were dragged from the canal, including bicycles, motorcycles, two empty safes, gold coins, a pallet truck, two wheelchairs, a toilet bowl, and two shells dating back to World War I.

Célia Blauel, deputy mayor in charge of the environment and canals, demanded that Parsians respect the canal once the cleanup effort is complete: “If everyone mucks in and avoids throwing anything in the water, we might be able to swim in the canal in a few years, as in numerous other European cities,” she told Le Parisien.