Zoë Dhillon, with her daughter Kavita Dhillon at the Community Clean-Up in Vanderhoof held Saturday, April 24. The event is organized by the Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative society and Zoë is one of the organizers of the event. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

Zoë Dhillon, with her daughter Kavita Dhillon at the Community Clean-Up in Vanderhoof held Saturday, April 24. The event is organized by the Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative society and Zoë is one of the organizers of the event. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

Community clean-up tackles litter across Vanderhoof

Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative hosts 13th annual event

The streets of Vanderhoof are looking a little cleaner following a community clean-up on Saturday, April 24.

Zoë Dhillon with the Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative (NWRI) said routes were assigned to more than 100 residents who remotely signed up to participate in the 13th annual event.

“We covered the entire downtown, which was fantastic,” she said.

Locations had been set up at six different parks where empty garbage bags were provided and full bags could be returned.

On Monday, April 26 the garbage bags were removed to be properly disposed of by the District of Vanderhoof’s public works department, Dhillon said.

Read More: Gloves and masks become problem litter as COVID-19 prompts people to cover up

In previous years the clean-up has resulted in five or six truckloads of waste being hauled away.

“The hope is everyone looks after their own area and keeps it clean,” Dhillon said, noting a lot of masks have been found amongst the litter.

“Of course, it would be nice for everyone to stop littering, but also it can be garbage that flies out of the backs of trucks, and it can be unintentional as well.”

In Vanderhoof’s downtown area, local high school group – Enviro Vikes – assisted in removing litter from around CN property, where large amounts of garbage is often visible.

Dhillon said NWRI was previously working with CN in installing anti-litter signs in an initiative led by Richard and Mary Burkholder. Kathy Russell worked with the Enviro Vikes to design signs for four locations, however, were later told the signs could no longer be a go.

Luckily the District of Vanderhoof stepped up and approved the signs on district property and requested more.

The signs, Dhillon said, went up last week.

“They [CN] know it’s an issue, but I’m assuming because of rail safety the signs couldn’t be on their property,” she said.

Read More: Photos: Vanderhoof community clean-up saw over 150 residents volunteering

Another troublesome area cleaned up Saturday was the large open lot beside the independent grocery store in which 15 community members descended with garbage bags.

Dhillon said she hopes the signs will attract people’s attention and make them think twice before littering.

On a hike this past weekend she said she had asked some individuals to keep their beer cans in their vehicle as she saw them throwing them out.

“We’ve all the seen the terrible pictures of birds and animals trapped in litter,” she said, noting her 9-year told her the ear loops on disposable face-masks could be troublesome for birds that can become entangled.

The NWRI is continuing to work with the District of Vanderhoof in securing cardboard and paper recycling for the Industrial Commercial & Institutional (ICI) sector.

Dhillon added that they are seeking to install a free miniature wooden library at Ferland Park sometime over the summer.


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