Terence Walker has a weekly routine.
He parks his car on the shoulder along one of the back roads in the Comox Valley, gets a garbage bin from his trunk and proceeds to pick up scraps along the side of the road.
They aren’t his scraps. It’s the garbage thrown out of windows of passing cars, or discarded from the boxes of pick-up trucks – the acts of people who have a complete disregard for our community and our environment.
Terence Walker is sick of seeing it and he’s doing something about it.
“When I first moved here in 1977, there was nothing but pristine nature all around. It was beautiful,” he said. “I don’t know when it changed, or what changed it, but as the years went by… it’s just ridiculous.
“I’ve seen shotgun shells, a TV blown up, all shot out. What is that?”
Walker is doing his part, but one man and a domestic trash receptacle can only do so much. This is where we can all step in.
The Comox Valley Record is inviting the community to take part in the inaugural Community Clean Up, April 18. We are putting the call out to those who can supply some muscle or perhaps a pick-up truck to haul away some of the litter that has accumulated along the back roads.
We aren’t asking for a lot; as many people as possible to work the morning of April 18. We will pick up the discarded furniture and appliances, boxes and bags – whatever we can get to in four hours.
We have Dim’s Bins on board, to help with the transport of the trash. The Courtenay Fish & Game Club has graciously donated use of their downstairs meeting room as a muster point for our volunteers. (Coincidentally, the club will have its own separate cleanup happening that same day.) We will be announcing other corporate partners as they champion the cause.
The first thing to do is sign up. If you are on Facebook, look for our event page – Comox Valley Community Clean Up – and sign up there. Here’s the link: www.facebook.com/events/1388960141425801/
(You may have already been invited).
If you aren’t on Facebook, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will sign you up.
The Community Clean Up is the first initiative in what I envision as an ongoing effort to eventually put an end to the illegal dumping along our back roads.
I am not naive enough to think that this will happen overnight. It’s a long process.
Fortunately, there are many communities that already do such things, so we have some guidance in that regard.
For this year, I’d just like to rally the troops, so to speak. Let’s get as many people, and trucks, out there as possible, and have a day of community service.
We will spend four hours picking up what others have left behind.
The doubters and defeatists will say we can’t make a difference. But that hasn’t stopped Terence Walker. We can’t let the so-called ‘Debbie Downers’ stop us, either.
Walker said it best, last week, before he excused himself from our impromptu conversation to get back to his chore.
“My licence plate says ‘Beautiful British Columbia’. It does not say ‘turn it into a garbage pit.’”
How’s that for a motivational speech?
Terry Farrell is the editor of the Comox Valley Record