The Comox Valley Community Clean-Up grew in 2016, not only in participation size, but also in the collective haul.
Simultaneous clean-ups at various locations in the Valley accounted for a total of more than 33,000 pounds of trash being hauled to the dump, and accepted, free of charge.
The inaugural Pick A Park aspect of the day was a great success, with dozens of people helping out at different locations, from the waterfront along Lazo Road (Point Holmes Recreation Association), to areas on Lake Trail Road (thanks to Comox Valley Land Trust and Morrison Streamkeepers), and many points in between.
The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce tidied Standard Park.
The Comox Valley Pickleball Association adopted the Highland Park area.
We Are Wildness, and Kindred Custom Snowboards converged on Farnham Road to clean that area together.
We had neighbourhood groups cleaning up their areas (residents along Minto Road were responsible for gathering nearly a ton of garbage), and others who took on popular pathways, such as the Royston Trail (600 pounds picked up there).
A crew of volunteers tackled a couple of troublesome spots along Piercy Road, picking up everything from couches to the burned out shell of a boat.
Schools even got into the spirit of the event. Saltwater Waldorf School spent a day earlier in the week cleaning up an area west of the Comox Lake Dam.
One group that did an outstanding job was the crew from the Fanny Bay area, as organized by James Barth and his Facebook group “Stop Comox Valley Illegal Dumping.”
Approximately 20 people took ownership of an area at the end of Cook Creek Road and collected 9,900 pounds of garbage in just over four hours of work.
Barth acknowledged members from the Comox Valley ATV Club, the Fanny Bay Community Association and even a group from Campbell River that came to lend a hand.
“I help them and they help me,” Barth said of the Campbell River crew, members of a Facebook group called “Keep Our Region Beautiful – Help Prevent Illegal Dumping.
“We had a bin supplied by B&D (Containers) – they dropped it off, they picked it up, driver was excellent to deal with,” said Barth. “And the CVRD was definitely a help, giving me tips on how to get it all done – that would have been Stephanie. So it went across very well.”
Barth said despite being familiar with the area, the amount of garbage picked up surprised him.
“I had absolutely no idea,” he said. “Within two hours, half the bin was full. It blew me away – just blew me away.”
Not to be outdone were the 39 Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association members, who sent 22,500 pounds of garbage to the dump.
“One of the nice things that a lot of people noticed, is many of the areas that have been problem areas in the past weren’t problems this year,” said Courtenay and District Fish and Game Club caretaker Dave Munk.
J.R. Edgett Excavating Ltd., donated a backhoe and truck, with drivers, for the day and Gary Marcus Trucking also supplied a truck and a backhoe, for the heavy lifting.
Dim’s Bins supplied a bin on-site at the F&G, free of charge, for easy dumping access, and Thrifty Foods went above and beyond, supplying free lunch for everyone who showed up at the Fish and Game clubhouse afterwards.