Weather conditions were less than ideal, but spirits were sunny and bright as hundreds of volunteers poured into the Township of Langley’s streets, streams, parks and trails for a successful Clean Up Langley Day.
Held April 28, the annual event saw 1,960 kilograms or 4,321 pounds of trash cleared from the Township’s public spaces. That was 1,000 pounds more than last year, said Lovena Morton, a Township solid waste co-ordinator, who noted that attendance was also way up.
“We were really impressed with both the turnout and the result of this year’s event. More than 350 people pitched in at 26 separate cleanups held throughout the Township,” she said.
“It was wonderful to see so many people getting involved and making a difference where they live, work, and play and we would love to see that enthusiasm and interest in caring for the community and the environment continue all year long.”
Morton was pleased that about half of the clean up event hosts and participants had returned from previous years, while the other half were new.
“The people who came out were of all ages and walks of life, but they had the same thing in common — wanting to see litter banished from our public spaces,” Morton said.
“It was neat to see how that brought people together to get to know their neighbours, give back to their community, and help the environment. We are really grateful for everyone’s efforts and their eagerness to ensure Langley stays clean, safe and beautiful.”
Public cleanups were hosted by local businesses, community groups, schools, sports teams, churches and families. The clean up Langley teams were supplied with garbage pickers, bags, gloves and vests to help with the task at hand and Sierra Waste Services pitched in to pick up the waste collected.
During the event, volunteers cleaned out all kinds of trash and items that could and should have been recycled or disposed of properly. Some of the most common items included coffee cups, car batteries, plastic bags, tires and oil containers, which are all detrimental to the environment.
Many bags of dog waste — including more than 200 bags found by a single volunteer in the bushes by the street she was cleaning — and numerous cigarette butts were also discovered.
“Neither cigarette butts nor bags of dog waste break down in the environment, despite what people may think,” Morton noted.
Even bags marketed as compostable or biodegradable take years to break down, and in the meantime, the plastic material and the waste inside is harmful to wildlife and aquatic systems. Dog waste should be taken home and placed in the owner’s garbage bin or disposed of in a waste receptacle, not left in public spaces.
For those who want to keep the spirit of Clean Up Langley Day going, there are many things that can be done to make a difference all year round.
Individuals, groups, businesses or schools can participate in the Township of Langley’s Adopt-a-Program by choosing a street, park, trail or creek to “adopt” and committing to cleaning litter from that area during a one-time event or on an ongoing basis. The Township provides cleaning supplies, safety information, garbage removal and a recognition sign for long-term adoptions.
“Conducting a cleanup event is a great way to give back to the community, and reference letters for volunteer hour requirements are also available upon request,” Morton noted. Visit tol.ca/adopt for more info.
“When it comes to taking care of the environment, there are options for every level of involvement. That includes simply thinking about the things we throw away, where and how they should be disposed of, and even if they really need to be thrown away,” Morton said.
“Can items be donated, recycled, reused, or even upcycled into something new and different? Every effort, big or small, makes a difference.”
Organizations and individuals who conducted cleanups for Clean Up Langley Day include:
- Stepping Stone Community Services Society;
- Live in Langley Chinese Association;
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints;
- Lindsay Kenney LLP;
- Langley Meadows Community Association;
- The Schriefer Family;
- Langley Elks;
- Langley Rivermen;
- Little Byrde Blends;
- City Collective Church;
- Britco Pork;
- Real Estate by Joe Battrick — Homelife Benchmark Realty;
- Harvest Baptist Church;
- Steve Klassen Real Estate – RE/MAX Treeland;
- The Kirkwood Family;
- Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society;
- Aldergrove Business Association;
- 1st Ottergrove Pathfinders;
- 1st Willoughby Scouts;
- The Gerwing Family;
- Rotary Club of Langley Sunrise;
- Darlene & Robert Barber;
- Alex Hope Parents and Neighbours;
- WGSS – Students and Green Team;
- Shannon Langeman; and
- Jade Gu.
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