The cool autumn air meant gloves and jackets were required, but dedicated volunteers braved the elements to remove about 450 kg of waste from across Langley Township during Fall Clean Up Langley Days on Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24.
“This was the first time the Township has tried a second Clean Up Langley Days in the same year, and what this event really made us realize is how much pride the residents, businesses, and community groups have in their own communities,” said Amanda Connolly of the Township’s strategic initiatives department. “It is so encouraging to see these dedicated volunteers step up and take initiative to better their communities and the environment around them.”
The volunteers included residents, businesses, schools, and organizations. They included those from Aldergrove TD Canada Trust, the Aldergrove Business Association, Langley Elks, Lindsay Kenney LLP law firm, Cool J’s Ice Cream, the Fort Langley Evangelical Free Church, and the Langley Environmental Partners Society.
“An additional thanks goes to the Township’s Youth Advisory Committee, R.E. Mountain Green Team, Airco Heating and Cooling Ltd., and the United Churches of Langley for taking part, as well as many of our Adopt-a-Program volunteers who altered their clean ups to fall within our Fall Clean Up Langley Days,” Connolly said.
Sierra Waste Services Ltd. supported the Fall Clean Up Langley Days efforts by collecting the waste gathered and ensuring everything was properly disposed of.
An annual clean-up event has been held by the Township in the spring for several years, but the municipality’s new Litter and Illegal Waste Management Strategy recommends an additional event be held in October, during Waste Reduction Week.
The strategy was approved by council in April 2015 and implementation is expected to begin in 2016.
The strategy, which can be found on the Township’s website at tol.ca by going to Services & Contacts and clicking on Garbage and Recycling, is based on best management practices from around the world.
It focuses on education, enforcement, and infrastructure, and highlights include a new dedicated litter and illegal dumping bylaw officer, a marketing campaign, and fast food business engagement.
“Litter and illegally dumped waste is an eye-sore, it can be hazardous to the environment, and it costs the Township hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to manage,” said Tanya Drouillard of the strategic initiatives department. “This strategy takes a proactive approach to the problem – we want to prevent litter and illegal dumping from happening in the first place. We’ve seen this approach work in other parts of North America and now the Township is eager to put a similar plan into action.”