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Pitching in to ditch littering

Andrew Philips

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network

SUBMITTED PHOTO
This was the unwanted haul Erin Hawke and her son Toby Smit collected from the ditch near their rural Oro-Medonte home.

SUBMITTED PHOTO This was the unwanted haul Erin Hawke and her son Toby Smit collected from the ditch near their rural Oro-Medonte home.

Erin Hawke and her son Toby Smit have a little more than $5 extra to spend these days, but it's money they wish they didn't have.
The pair collected two full bags of garbage, including 53 beer cans, from the ditch near their rural Oro-Medonte home Monday.
"We noticed it's the same three types of beer...Budweiser, Coors Light and Alexander Keith's," Hawke said, noting the same fast-food wrappers are also part of the collection.
"I don't want to point fingers, but it makes me think it's the same person. When you're in your car, leave it in your car until you get home."
What makes the haul all the more alarming, according to Hawke, is the fact all the trash and recycling was collected over just a 500-metre span of Line 6 between their house and Horseshoe Valley Road.
As well, Hawke said she suspects the beer cans were thrown by someone who was drinking and driving since she can't understand why else the cans would be thrown from a moving vehicle.
Barrie OPP Const. Graeme Knox said officers regularly patrol all roads in their catchment area and not just main thoroughfares when looking for potential impaired drivers.
"We also rely on the public to report crimes and impaired driving is a crime," Knox said. "It's a serious offence. We're also running random RIDE checks."
Shawn Binns, Oro-Medonte's operations and community services director, said littering remains an issue throughout the township.
"Unfortunately, it's one of these things we still have to do," Binns said, adding the problem doesn't seem to be going away with some still not seeming to understand how to use a garbage can or recycling bin.
"We do regular patrols and it's not uncommon to find debris in all of our ditches. We deal with it on a complaint basis."
Binns said the township does rely on citizens' groups to collect trash in ditches and other public spaces.
As an example, he said the Friends of Sugar Bush is holding a garbage cleanup this weekend in partnership with the township as part of Pitch-In Canada's Earth Day events with a similar project slated for May 13 involving the Horseshoe Valley Property Owners.
"Our big issue is people who illegally dump items like shingles and chemicals," Binns said, pointing out the township doesn't have the resources to cover every area where this kind of larger-scale activity occurs.
andrewphilips@live.ca



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