Tonnes of trash collected Sun. in Coquitlam River clean-up

Volunteers pose with a pile of garbage collected during a clean-up Sunday of the Coquitlam River.  - SUBMITTED PHOTO
Volunteers pose with a pile of garbage collected during a clean-up Sunday of the Coquitlam River.
— image credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

Everything but the kitchen sink — including a toilet — was cleaned up from the banks of the Coquitlam River Sunday, resulting in a mound of garbage eight feet high.

Clean-up organizer Garry Elgear said nearly 250 people showed up to pick up garbage along the banks of the river from Port Coquitlam to Coquitlam and collected tonnes of garbage to be taken to the dump.

“Everybody felt so good with a feeling of accomplishment,” said Elgear, owner of Riverside Fly and Tackle, who has been organizing river clean-ups for a decade to improve the local environment and to remind people to dispose of their garbage properly.

He said people of all ages turned out for the event Sunday morning, including representatives from streamkeepers and fly fishing groups, as well as families out to do something good for their city.

There was lots of trash to pick up, said Elgear, who noted he picked up 40 used needles himself, and he said lots of garbage from abandoned homeless camps was cleaned up, too.

“It was disgusting,” he said about the amount of trash.

“We educated a lot of people and many commented on the lack of garbage cans,” said Elgear, who would like to see more garbage cans made available so people can get rid of their litter. If Port Coquitlam bought bear-proof cans, the bruins would be more likely to stay away, too.

He credited social networks, including Twitter and Facebook, as well as traditional news media  coverage— including a Tri-City News front page — and the good weather for the good turnout.

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