Green Team gets real

Young en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists glad to help with roll out of new waste man­age­ment pro­gram.

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Front Page - BY ROSALYN ROY Rosalyn.roy@gulfnews.ca Twit­ter: @tyger­lylly

It’s not hard to make small changes in our own lives that will have big ben­e­fits on the en­vi­ron­ment.

The Con­ser­va­tion Corps of New­found­land and Labrador (CCNL), in part­ner­ship with the Town of Chan­nel- Port aux Basques set up a ta­ble at a down­town gro­cery store last Fri­day, July 27, to ed­u­cate res­i­dents on the West­ern Re­gional Waste Man­age­ment (WRWM) re­cy­cling pro­gram slated to roll out in Septem­ber. The day be­fore the team had done the same thing at a gro­cery store in the mall.

David Cullen is a third-year mem­ber of the Green Team and serves as team leader. Along with three oth­ers, the group tack­les con­ser­va­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues through var­i­ous com­mu­nity projects and ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams.

“In some places they’re do­ing stream and river restora­tion; tag­ging and ba­sic species and stuff like that,” said Cullen. “The Port aux Basques Green Team… our main fo­cus, the ti­tle of our project is Com­mu­nity Am­bas­sadors.

“It’s mainly ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic about cli­mate change and we do a lot of stuff with the sum­mer sports kids, like ac­tiv­i­ties with them to teach them about cli­mate change and the oceans, and we also go around and clean up garbage.”

As part of the ed­u­ca­tional waste man­age­ment roll out, the Green Team was hand­ing out re­us­able shop­ping bags stamped with the town logo, as well as a blue bag, a clear bag and a list of what waste items go in each bag.

“Ba­si­cally, the town wanted us to do our re­search and fig­ure out every­thing about it, and now we’re here try­ing to ed­u­cate the pub­lic about it so that it’s not so much of a shock to ev­ery­body when the time comes,” said Cullen, who has

found the pub­lic’s re­cep­tion to be largely pos­i­tive.

The two days of face to face ques­tion and an­swer about waste man­age­ment with the Green Team has helped clear up some con­fu­sion for peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly for the town’s se­nior pop­u­la­tion.

Cullen pointed out that in Nova Sco­tia, for ex­am­ple, blue bags re­cy­clables are bro­ken down by type, with items such as tin cans sorted sep­a­rately from card­board. That won’t be re­quired for the south­west coast, and com­post­ing food scraps won’t be nec­es­sary ei­ther, though it is en­cour­aged.

“I guess peo­ple fig­ured it was go­ing to be like Nova Sco­tia or On­tario,” said Cullen. “A lot of peo­ple thought that they had to sort all their garbage and

they would have to do manda­tory com­post­ing, but we don’t ac­tu­ally have to do manda­tory com­post­ing and food scraps can just go into the clear bag, which is your garbage, and every­thing that is re­cy­clable goes all to­gether into the one blue bag.”

The Green Team is happy to see the new waste man­age­ment pro­gram com­ing on­line.

“I’ve def­i­nitely been want­ing some­thing like this to hap­pen for a long time,” said Cullen. “The garbage dump up there is just aw­ful and be­fore this sys­tem came in, the way that we’re cur­rently do­ing things, I al­most feel like it would be bet­ter to throw things on the ground in town be­cause then it’s ac­tu­ally there for peo­ple to see and get en­raged about rather than tak­ing

it and hid­ing it in the woods, which is what we’re do­ing.”

Although Cullen hopes to see even more re­cy­cling ini­tia­tives in the fu­ture, he does be­lieve even this small change is a great in­tro­duc­tory step for the town when it comes to deal­ing with garbage.

“A lot of peo­ple don’t want to have to do all the sep­a­rat­ing and this, I feel like, is the sim­plest way that we can still do re­cy­cling with­out hav­ing to sort every­thing. This is the clos­est thing to what we’re do­ing now,” notes Cullen. “In­stead of just throw­ing it all in one black bag you just throw it in blue or clear.”

Be­sides the Waste Man­age­ment in­for­ma­tion roll out, the Green Team is also keep­ing

busy with other projects, par­tic­u­larly on the cul­tural side.

“We’re build­ing a Lego Man for Astro­labe Days,” said firstyear Green Team mem­ber Damian Lam­bert. He cites the amount of lit­ter around town as one of his big­ger pet peeves.

Ja­dian Hibbs agrees, es­pe­cially when it comes to driv­ers lob­bing trash out of their ve­hi­cle win­dows.

“We’d re­ally like that to stop.” Hibbs would also like to see home­own­ers choose to com­post, par­tic­u­larly those with gar­dens.

“If more peo­ple started do­ing that, it would add back to our soil.”

J. R. ROY/SPE­CIAL TO THE GULF NEWS

The Port aux Basques Green Team helped ed­u­cate the pub­lic about the up­com­ing tran­si­tion to the new waste man­age­ment plan on Fri­day, July 27. Pic­tured front, from left, are Damian Lam­bert, David Cullen; back, Ja­dian Hibbs and Ri­ley Gale.

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