Aldergrove mom tackles community’s ‘out of hand’ trash problem

Jocelyn Titus has ignited a growing local movement of pickers to ‘care for her kids’ planet’

Saturday was supposed to be Langley Township’s ninth annual Clean Up Day – where families, individuals, and businesses pitch-in each year to collect litter discarded in public spaces.

Though this year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19 concern, one Aldergrove mother has made every Wednesday a day to clean up her community.

For Jocelyn Titus, the journey to clean up Aldergrove first began with the road she lives on, Robertson Crescent.

Early this year she began to noticed it was overrun with all sorts of trash.

“Nobody is doing anything about this and its getting out of hand. So I need to try,” Titus said.

March 10 was when the mother of two posted her first video diary, documenting the startling amounts of waste that had been dumped illegally at Robertson Crescent near 264th Street.

“It’s just an average day for a mom,” she remarked, pointing to discarded propane tanks, glass shards, uneaten food, paint cans, tires, and gas tanks near the forest-marked side of the road.

“People must think this place is the dump.”

[Story continues below video]

Since then, on Wednesdays Titus has grabs her picker and hits the streets of Aldergrove to – as she puts it – “care for her kids’ planet.”

On March 12, she was joined in her cleanup efforts by Aldergrove resident Sarah Hood. The two connected over Titus’ Cleaning Up Aldergrove Facebook page.

Hood, 23, has made a regular effort to pick up trash from a forest southeast of Shortreed Community Elementary for five years now.

“There’s garbage everywhere – it’s got to be picked up by somebody,” Hood expressed in the midst of cleaning up glass shards from under tree roots.

Titus and Hood amassed two full bags of trash, in just 20 minutes, from an area along the shoulder of Robertson Crescent.

The place is marked with signs that read: “NO DUMPING.”

ON TRASHTALK: ‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

The mom is encouraged by the earth-conscious actions of TrashTalk in Surrey, a coalition that has gathered both steam and volunteers to clean up the city’s most-trashy industrial areas.

Though on her own, Titus feels like she’ll “never be able to clean up other streets in Aldergrove” at the rate that litter is befalling them each day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also slowed the amount of in-person response she’s gotten to requests for other “pickers” to help tackle the town’s most-littered areas.

“We do our daily things. The garbage is out of sight, out of mind,” she said.

Titus continues to challenge families, individuals, and businesses of Aldergrove to utilize the time they have outdoors, even when walking to their car, to pick up litter.

“With everyone flattening the curve right now big clean ups are on hold but that shouldn’t stop you from doing your daily part to pick up a few pieces of trash.”

“Let’s leave Aldergrove better than we found it,” she urged.

READ MORE: The amount of waste collected last spring was higher than the year before

[Titus has inspired others to contribute to the cause]

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