Volunteers tackle backwoods mess for community clean up | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Volunteers tackle backwoods mess for community clean up

Image Credit: City of West Kelowna

This weekend marks the kick off to Community Clean-Up Month-- and to mark the occasion a crew of enthusiastic volunteers will head to a popular recreation corridor to clean up garbage-- left behind by a careless few. And they’re challenging you to do the same—to take even a small portion of your day to do a clean-up in your own neighborhood.

The clean-up kickoff event is an annual one, organized in a new locale each year by the Regional District Waste Reduction office. Every spring it offers bags and gloves for clean ups, plus will pick up the garbage you collect when you’re done with your cleanup project.

Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says Community Clean Up has been held every April for over 20 years, and is used to highlight the problem of illegal dumping plus act as a springboard for positive clean up initiatives for groups or individuals. ”The clean- up planned for this weekend will tackle a lot of debris that should not be there in the first place, even a few burned out camper trailers. We’ll be putting out a lot of elbow grease to leave the great outdoors the way it should be, pristine. And sending a message to those who dump and litter, that it’s not ok.”

Stewart adds, “Over the years, literally thousands of residents have participated in Community Clean ups in our Region, logging thousands of volunteer hours-everyone from school and church groups, to Brownies, Cubs, service organizations, businesses, families, co-workers, and friends. It’s a remarkable outpouring of community pride and spirit!”

The Saturday morning clean-up blitz will target Bartley Road in West Kelowna, near the trail head to the McDougall Rim Forestry Trails, a popular area for local recreationists.  Saturday’s cleanup crew will consist of a number of different groups and organizations, including over 50 volunteers from Shaw, a handful of residents from the area, as well as dozens of members on the newly formed Okanagan Forestry Task Force who have come to specialize in backwoods clean-up efforts. Dumpster services for the day are being provided free of charge by “The Dump Truck Disposal” and ABC Recycling is assisting with metal recycling of some burned out hulks left behind in the bush.

Shaw Spokesperson Brittany Preston says, “As a company, we wanted to give back to the community that supports us, while making a positive impact on the environment. We pride ourselves on building meaningful relationships within the communities that we support and teaming up with the RDCO for this community clean-up is one exciting way that we’d like to give back. The Shaw Team finds the rewards from volunteering for an initiative like this tremendous. Our local Community Investment Team identifies opportunities for Shaw volunteers to engage with their communities and this clean-up will be a great way to kick off 2017!”

Groups already signed up for clean- up initiatives in the month ahead include: Inter Mountain Enterprises, Uptown Rutland Assocation, Northwestside Road Community Association, District of Lake Country and City of West Kelowna, and the Oyama Community Club.

To arrange your own 20 Minute Make Over or Community Clean Up event, get free litter bags and gloves, and arrange to have the garbage you collect picked up when you’re done; contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 or email recycle@cord.bc.ca.

If you wish to report illegal dumping on the RDCO website visit    www.regionaldistrict.com/reportillegaldumping.

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