Tidying up the town

Vanderhoof Community Cleanup had residents souring the town for litter all in the name of saving the environment.

Mary Greene and Jerica Young-Greene scour the shrubs for litter during the Vanderhoof Community Cleanup.

Mary Greene and Jerica Young-Greene scour the shrubs for litter during the Vanderhoof Community Cleanup.

Bottles, bags, cans and gum, picking up garbage proved lots of fun, at the seventh annual Vanderhoof Community Cleanup.

Residents gathered at Riverside Park the morning of April 18 as volunteers handed out gloves, garbage bags and free t-shirts. The Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative event cleanses the town each year and uses the day to raise awareness of recycling, Vince Terstappen, sustainability coordinator said.

“It’s hard to believe its the seventh year already. It makes quite a difference in the community from before and after although, this year seems to have less litter which is great. The kids might feel bad if they don’t fill up their bag but its a good thing,” Terstappen joked. “It’s a great result to have people littering less and the cleanup is just a bonus.

The NWRI looks after the recycling bins at the Vanderhoof waste transfer station and in the past couple years have organized a few small film screenings of waste related movies.

They work with the Food Network on green events and on helping community groups make their events green by using local food and having little waste as possible.

“We try to raise awareness of waste reduction options around whether it’s plastic recycling at the waste transfer station or cardboard recycling in behind the Co-op. We just try to make sure people are using the bins and not the landfill,” Terstappen said.

More than 200 people came out in support of this year’s cleanup, some being part of a team or family.

Stacey Stewart’s family was sent out to pick garbage by Evelyn Dickson Elementary.  They moved to Vanderhoof from Houston last year and she said the upgrade of community is fantastic.

“Vanderhoof is so great, they do things like this… it’s a really nice way to spend the day with family. Your doing something that benefits everyone in the community as a little way of giving back,” she said.

The day was sponsored in part by the District of Vanderhoof who provided a free barbecue afterward and Tim Hortons who donated all the coffee, gloves, and T-shirts.

“This truly shows pride in our community and if you don’t have pride all the other things you value will slip away. The fact so many people showed up today shows a constant desire and sense of wellbeing in our community,” Mayor Gerry Thiessen said at the event.