Litter pickup event running next week

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Next week is a perfect chance to pick up litter in the Town of Pictou.

Madeline MacPhail, summer intern with the town, is helping organize the event which runs Monday through Friday, Aug. 17-22.

The Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up, which is Nova Scotia’s largest volunteer-driven community clean-up program,  has been comically renamed by MacPhail as the Great Pictou-Me-Up.

The event promotes litter clean-ups across the province. Since the program started in 1992, the Clean Foundation has provided supplies and support to participants who wish to carry out community-based clean-ups.

“We have supplies that people can pick up which us basically gloves, two clear bags and one blue bag. There is also data collection cards for people to record what they collect and it gives people a better understanding of what’s being littered.” These items can be picked up at town hall.

“Or anyone interested can just do it in their own back yard or favourite places with a group of friends and supplies they have at home,” MacPhail said. “I tried to just make it as simple as I could.”

The litter cleanup is not just for residents of Pictou; MacPhail says anyone in the surrounding area who wants to participate can certainly do so. Their data collection will be included in Pictou’s data.

“I grew up in Lyons Brook and I always did Pictou stuff,” she laughs.

Litter pickup is something that comes naturally to MacPhail. “I take garbage bags with me when I go for walks,” she says. “I’ve never done anything official, I just like to do it on my own.”

She continues, “I always thought it was weird when I was in high school that people sometimes go out of their way to take pictures of the trash but don’t do anything to pick it up.”

She’s trying to change that by encouraging people to pick up any trash they see.

Her goal is to have 100 bags of garbage collected at the end of the week.

“I think as a town, 100 bags of litter picked up would be great. If there were 50 of us, that’s just two bags person in a week. It would be great to have more, but it’s a start.”

Collected bags can be put curbside on your own garbage collection day and labelled as “litter”; that will allow for the extra bags placed at curbside.

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