Red Deer has some tidy river banks and trails thanks to 68 volunteers during the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup despite cooler, wet weather on Sunday.
Suzanne Jubb, city community and program facilitator, said trash from collected in river areas near Kerry Wood Nature Centre, Rotary Park, BMX bike areas, 67th Street, and more, filled 70 garbage bags and four bags of recyclables.
It all added up to an estimated 438 kilograms (975 pounds) of garbage.
“We don’t find as much garbage as they did years ago, but enough that it warrants that we go out there to do a fall cleanup,” Jubb said on Monday.
“It’s definitely something that needs to be done.”
Volunteers collected litter along 13 routes and a couple experienced canoeists and kayakers also lent a hand.
A total of 15 bags of garbage were collected in the area south of Three Mile Bend.
“If you’re in an area with homeless camps there can be a fair amount of garbage.”
She said at least five bikes were also found which is more than the usual one or two.
Jubb a garbage report will be done, but mostly it was typical trash — food wrappers, syringes, clothing, takeout containers, cups, batteries and bottles, cans.
“Everything from personal hygiene items, trash, packaging, to fishing gear to foam, glass, plastic.”
She said carelessly discarded cigarette butts definitely remain a big problem.
“That’s a real issue for sure. It’s discouraging people are still doing that.
“A lot of the items can leach chemicals into our waterways as well, everything from cigarette butts to certain containers, that really aren’t good for our environment. If we can keep them off the shoreline, then hopefully they aren’t going to blow into our rivers.”
She said residents could also lend a hand in their own neighbourhoods by keeping their garbage in bins with lids or not putting out their garbage bags until their trash collection day so birds are less likely to scatter garbage.
Unfortunately people continue to drop coffee cups and wrappers on the ground around the city, as well as tossing cigarette butts out of vehicle windows, she said.
“Try to be mindful and put the garbage where it needs to go.”
Jubb said even a little bit of trash likely means a lot more can be found nearby.
Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a national event and is part of the Green Deer program. The City of Red Deer partnered with NOVA Chemicals, Trout Unlimited Canada and Tim Hortons for the event.
Another shoreline cleanup is also held each spring in Red Deer.