TRU Eco Club and City set out to clean our shores

A party of 40 volunteers took to Pioneer Park to clean up trash left by people

Volunteers from the Eco Club, residents of Kamloops and TRU students gathered to tackle shoreline garbage with bags and grabbers. (Justin Moore/The Omega)

Adjacent to the public washrooms at Pioneer Park last week sat a sign – “Adopt a Street cleanup in progress,” but what took place last Saturday was much more than just a street clean.

In a combined effort of the TRU Eco Club, TRU Sustainability Office and the City of Kamloops, Pioneer Park hosted around 40 residents, students and city officials for a shoreline cleanup.

The inception for the cleanup came at the same time for TRU’s Sustainability office and Christian Andrews of the TRU Eco Club.

“I came across the website, and at the same time, the Sustainability office reached out to me and said ‘We’re trying to find somebody to do this,’ and I was actually thinking about doing it anyway, so I partnered up,” Andrews said. “It was very easy to organize.”

Shortly after 10 a.m., volunteers picked up orange garbage bags, trash collectors and sharps waste boxes supplied by the city and after some words from Andrews, the volunteers split up, setting out to clear the area of any trash they came across.

As the event was organized using The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) resources, scorecards were handed to each group to tally up how many of certain items were picked up.

For the next week, Andrews will be tallying up the results to send to the GCSC. This information will be added to the yearly data the organization gathers on how much trash is collected.

By far one of the most interesting items collected on Saturday was a red KitchenAid blender, leaving volunteers and Andrews amazed and curious as to if it still worked.

At the end of the two-hour cleanup, the garbage was then collected by the City of Kamloops to be weighed and disposed of accordingly. The weight and number of bags is information also of interest to the GCSC.

In 2017 alone, over 10,000 bags of garbage were filled during cleanup events weighing in at well over 88,000 kg.

As for the Kamloops cleanup, the tally is still out, Andrews guaranteeing a figure by the end of next week.

While the Pioneer Park cleanup was a first for Kamloops, the city is proposing a monthly effort to further clean the shores of human-caused litter under the banner of Adopt a Shoreline, according to Andrews.

“I think this is a great thing to do. It fits my values as a person and sharing that with other people is my goal in life I guess,” Andrews added.

Any future cleanups can be found on the Eco Club’s Facebook page.