The Rotary Club of Port Alberni hosted the first of what they hope will be many community clean-ups to recognize Earth Day.
On Saturday, April 17, people in reflective vests could be spotted walking along the main streets in Port Alberni, picking up garbage as part of a community-wide clean-up initiative.
GFL Environmental Inc. donated a bin to collect the waste, setting it up in the Scotiabank parking lot on Saturday. The City of Port Alberni and Home Hardware also donated some safety vests and cleaning supplies for participants.
“The ACRD (Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District) is also allowing us to dump for free today,” explained Crystal Knudsen, president of the Rotary Club of Port Alberni.
Several other local community groups joined the effort, including the Lions Club, Rotary Club of Port Alberni-Arrowsmith and several churches. There were approximately 50 individuals or teams signed up to cover different areas in town, from Redford Street to Johnston Road to Stamp Avenue.
One group even took a boat out onto the Somass River to pick up garbage in the water.
“We’re really proud of the support and very excited,” said Knudsen. “There are a lot of people out there. People are pretty passionate about their community. We’re hoping this will become an annual event.”
Clean-up volunteers collected 740 kilograms of litter.
If you missed this community clean-up, there will be another chance to participate this week as the Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Program will be holding an Earth Day Cleanup on April 24 and 25.
Aquarium volunteers will be removing waste (including plastics) from the Alberni Inlet and estuary by paddleboard, canoe and kayak.