An Ottawa diver who was filming his search for antiques at the bottom of the Rideau River found a surprising amount of trash below the surface.

In the underwater video posted to André Constantineau’s YouTube channel there is everything from bottles, to packages, plastic gloves, lighters, tires, and even construction lights shown.

Constantineau says he never intended to make a video about all the garbage in Ottawa’s rivers, but says it’s clear “there’s a problem.”

“So I’m raising awareness to put garbage away and to do a bit more to pick it up,” he said.

Constantineau has collected a few historic items during his dives. This includes a vinegar bottle from 1935, amd a beer bottle from around the same time.

But he says most of the trash is from today’s society.

Advocates for our waterways say the videos raise concerns about all the trash that is being found at the bottom of the river.

Meredith Brown says some of these items are toxic.

Brown says another concern is micro plastics, the tiny pieces of plastic that shed from larger items, but are impossible to see.  

“These micro plastic are getting into our fish, our drinking water, into our beer. So this is a pollution problem that gets into our system and back up to humans,” Brown said.

Brown says this serves as an important reminding to put your trash in the garbage where it belongs.

For non-drivers who want to help out, there are two shoreline cleanups coming up.

The first is the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup happening on Saturday, September 15th at Petrie Island starting at 10a.m. 

This is followed by the Community Shoreline clean-up on Saturday, September 22nd at Rapides-Deschênes Park from 9:30a.m. until 11:30a.m.