The great spring roadside cleanup

COLIN KERR
Staff Reporter

BARRY’S BAY – Garbage along the roadside has been a problem for as long as I can remember. My brothers and I used to go up to the nearby high school after a dance to make some money collecting beer bottles. That was long before the days of curbside bluebox pick-up.

Have these programs made a difference in terms of the roadside garbage problem? Maybe, but it’s often hard to tell. As a big walker/runner, I get a good look at a lot of our local roads. I love this area for the endless walks along quiet roadways I can take. And you get to know something of the habits of local people too – their favourite beverages and drop sites.

In terms of recyclables, we like our Coke and Pepsi, our Coors Light, and our bottles of water. In terms of non-recyclables, Tim Horton’s cups top the list. And then there is the gross stuff: plastic bags, sometimes with things in them, etc. Paper is an eye-sore, but it is not a significant environmental problem.

I have watched a lot of videos on pollution in the world, and when I see clean-up efforts at some of the most polluted places in the world, as in rivers in India, etc., it inspires me to do my small part to make our area a bit nicer too.

Have you ever explored the world via Google Earth? I love to get a street view of places I have barely even heard of, whether it is a coastal village in Africa, or some place in the middle-of-nowhere USA. One thing I have discovered in my virtual travels is that litter is everywhere!

It is pretty amazing to think that someday, perhaps 100,000 years from now, all that will be left of our civilization, or even of our species, might be our plastic alone.

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