It only takes an hour. That’s the message from Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) about how you can make a real difference in your community.
This coming weekend (April 23-25), the CWSM team and it’s army of community volunteers are putting on their annual Community Cleanup right here in Campbell River. According to Stephanie Valdal, services coordinator for CWSM, the initiative circulates around to different communities each year, and this year it’s Campbell River’s turn.
“Every year we host these Community Cleanups in two or three of the communities in our service area,” Valdal says. “This year, partially because there’s a greater need but also because the city of Campbell River has been voted one of the best placed to live in Canada, we wanted to highlight that by doing a city-wide cleanup.”
The goal for the cleanup, Valdal says, “is to get rid of all of the litter and all of the garbage in the entire city.”
While that may sound ambitious, Valdal says that between the small, individual efforts of families and the work of the various non-profits, businesses and other organizations in the community, it’s a goal that’s within reach.
“All we’re asking is for people to give up one hour of their time to go around their home or their place of work – or to contact us if they want a larger site to help clean up,” Valdal says. “We’ve been working with Small Planet Energy, which has been doing a 30-day cleanup that will end at the end of April, as well as the local Rotary Clubs, First Nations, local businesses and other companies, and we really are hoping to get everything cleaned up.”
Part of that work involves identifying the areas within the community that are in the greatest need so they can direct people to those places over the weekend.
“There are a couple of popular illegal dumping areas that we’ve identified, and we’re also asking residents that if you can’t participate in the cleanup but you know of an area that needs it, to please let us know and we’ll get some volunteers on it,” she says.
The number to contact if you’d like to register to help clean up or to provide an area that needs a hand is 250-336-8083 (extension 4), but you can also email Valdal directly if you prefer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s also how you can get directed to an area in need so they can ensure there’s a good spread of people going where they need to go to get the whole community covered.
“We have full cleanup kits to provide, as well, when people call to register for a cleanup site, and we go over any hazards that people should keep in mind,” Valdal says. “We certainly don’t encourage anyone to pick up anything that might look hazardous, for example, or to open any sealed containers.”
But one of the goals of the weekend is also to encourage people to make litter picking “a habit.”
“We really want to stress that this doesn’t need to take very long, and can be done whenever you’re out and about,” she says. “The feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment you get from picking up a few pieces of litter here and there, knowing they’re not going to end up in a culvert or waterway is really something.”
Visit cswm.ca for more on how you can help keep our community beautiful all year ‘round, and we hope to see you out and about this weekend with your garbage bags in hand.