Among the volunteers scouring the shores of the Columbia River for garbage on Rivers Day were Sgt. Alex Bonin

Among the volunteers scouring the shores of the Columbia River for garbage on Rivers Day were Sgt. Alex Bonin

Trail volunteers tackle Columbia River shoreline cleanup

Over 1 thousand kilograms of garbage hauled to dump

Few hands managed to do a lot of heavy work during Sunday’s Rivers Day shoreline cleanup in Trail.

Dark skies and cooler temperatures may have discouraged some participants but 50 people registered and the volunteers made a considerable dent in cleaning up refuse along the banks of the Columbia River.

“It may have only been 50 people but considering the storm that went through (Saturday) and the look of the skies today I think we did really well,” said Andrea Jolly, communications and events coordinator for the City of Trail said on Sunday.

“I’m beyond satisfied with the turnout.

“We’ve got a group of the Air Cadets working between the bridges, the West Kootenay Naturalists out by Rock Island, the Rossland Trail roller girls cleaning up near Bingay Bay, and a lot of families bringing their kids out for the cleanup.”

Teck crews circulated around the various areas where the volunteer teams were working along the river and hauled four truckloads to the McKelvey Creek landfill for a total of over 1,000 kilograms of garbage.

The City of Trail crews will continue to pick up any leftover bags of garbage collected during the event early in the week possibly raising the total weight of refuse cleaned up during the event even higher.

“It’s such an eye-opener to actually see how much is being illegally dumped on an annual basis and this event gives us an opportunity to really take note of it,” said Jolly.

“We take pride in our river and we take pride in our city, we shouldn’t have to look at people’s garbage. Maybe if we continue to bring an awareness of what’s being dumped out there people may think twice before doing it.”

After the cleanup at noon, volunteers and organizers gathered at Jubilee Park in Trail for a hot dog lunch, soft drinks, coffee and hot chocolate, provided by the Local 480 United Steelworkers barbecue team, and draw prizes.

“When we heard that the Skills Centre couldn’t take on the coordination of Rivers Day this year we thought it was important for the city to step up,” explained Jolly.

“We’re really trying to re-connect with the river and re-connect the downtown with the river and it’s such and important part of our economy and recreation that we felt it was natural for (the City of Trail) to take it on.”