Litter doesn’t impress newcomer
Friday, March 25, 2011 –Campbell River Mirror --
Kristen Douglas, Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River has fallen into an “unfortunate state of neglect” because of all the “hooligans” who leave their trash along the side of the road, says one fed up resident.
Susan Black is sick and tired of having to navigate around all the garbage she sees on a daily basis, comparing Campbell River to India.
“When I leave my property I’m always stepping over chip bags, working my way around cigarette butts and banana peels,” says Black. “What comes to mind is my trip to India which is one of the dirtiest continents in the world. But when I saw the condition of the streets here I thought ‘oh I’m back in Delhi.’”
Black, who is a resident manager at The Madison apartment complex on Dogwood Street moved to Campbell River about seven months ago and told city council Tuesday night so far she is not impressed.
“It (the littering) gives you a sense that you don’t belong, that the city belongs to those who want to ruin it,” says Black. “I want to be proud of this city but when I walk outside I’m not proud anymore.”
Black presented council with a slideshow of the garbage she sees on her one-kilometre trek each day from her home to Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex.
“I’d like you to consider where this might be,” she told council as she flipped through slides depicting pop cans, water bottles, rotten food and even graffiti.
“These hooligans who litter should have to clean it up – it builds a sense of community,” says Black.
She also suggested the city adopt a program similar to one she saw work successfully in China while teaching English.
“If you give yourselves the chance to brainstorm on a solution, you may find you don’t have to spend money, it can be solved with community credits,” says Black. “In China, high school students are given credit for supporting the community by cleaning their school grounds and the surrounding area.” Rewards could include free movie vouchers or swim or skate passes.
Black, who lives directly across the street from Carihi, says she approached the school in an attempt to engage its students in a similar program but there was no interest.
Mayor Charlie Cornfield said it was “too bad” she did not get a favourable response from Carihi but recommended Black contact the Christian School, which has, in the past, sent out students to clean up the block around the school.
Black also suggested block by block competitions to encourage residents to pick up litter on and around their own properties.
Coun. Roy Grant suggested Black join the city’s Community Advisory Commission which makes recommendations to council on community beautification.
“While I don’t agree we’re in a dilapidated state, there are parts of town that need sprucing up,” he said. “I think the committee needs someone as enthusiastic as yourself.”