Event Recap – Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup – April 12, 2014

It was a beautiful sunny day, 9 people signed up and 7 people attended; Joe and Pat volunteered their car for transporting bags of waste. Stephanie and Vladimirka supplied trash bags, and most people brought their own gloves.  The team spent 2 hours of intense garbage hunting, bagging and note-taking.

0.9 km of shoreline was cleaned from Balaclava stairs to Dunbar Stairs.  This is a rocky shoreline with seaweed beds exposed at low tide, so good natural habitat for shoreline birds.  At high tide the shoreline is completely covered, so this had an impact on the type of garbage found.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup supplied “scorecards” which they use to compile waste collection statistics locally and across Canada.

Our compiled stats: 85.5 lbs collected, including 6 ft of metal pipe, a large Styrofoam float, plastic sheets,  4 x 3 ft piece of carpet, clothing and boards with nails, 16 recyclable tins and bottles, lots of tiny plastic pieces (very bad for the food chain),  not so much cigarette waste, as this is not an accessible beach at high tide, unlike shorelines to the east and west, but quite a bit of broken glass.

We were finished by noon and enjoyed an oatmeal cookie (or two) before heading out to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

This event would be a good item for undergraduate resumes, either as a participant or site coordinator.  The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup event is also a fun way to meet new people (a.k.a networking), get some exercise and make a positive effect on the environment.

Interesting thing to note, there is a company called TerraCycle:  http://www.terracycle.ca/  which recycles cigarette butts and specific food packaging products. Useful to know for items that are usually treated as garbage.

Other information:  check out the City of Vancouver Adopt a block and annual neighbourhood cleanup programs at:

http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/bi-annual-neighbourhood-block-cleanup.aspx

Written by Stephanie McInnis

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