Thames River Clean Up a good way to give back: volunteer
Damon White and his son, Dylan, 8, of Ingersoll were among the 80 volunteers who combed the banks of the Thames River and other parts of Ingersoll to pick up trash during the 14th annual Thames River Clean Up in Ingersoll on Saturday, April 27, 2013. JOHN TAPLEY/INGERSOLL TIMES/QMI AGENCY
Taking into account the nice weather and the $5 bill he found, eight-year-old Dylan White of Ingersoll said Saturday was a lucky day.
White and his father, Damon, were among the 80 people who participated in the 14th annual Thames River Clean Up in Ingersoll on Saturday. That is slightly fewer people than in previous years, organizers said, but what they lacked in numbers they more than made up for in effort.
This is the second year in a row the Whites, who moved to Ingersoll from Kingsville in 2010, have pitched in to clean up trash along the river.
“It's just a good thing to do as far as giving back to the community and teaching my son about environmental responsibility,” said Damon White. “It's a good day to get out and get some fresh air.”
People should be more careful with how they dispose of their garbage, said Dylan who had already collected a large amount of trash in a short stretch along the south side of the river.
Danielle Bruyns, her husband, Paul, and their sons, Morghan and Graham, were participants in the clean up for the first time this year.
“We thought it would be a good lesson about caring for the environment (for the boys),” said Danielle, whose husband is a member of Oxford People Against the landfill (OPAL).
About 20 OPAL supporters took part in the clean up on Saturday, said Steve McSwiggan, chair of the group that is fighting Walker Environmental Group's proposal for a landfill in Zorra.
“We also have an environmental conscience, so we'll do whatever we can to help,” he said. “And part of that is keeping our town and our county clean.”
He said OPAL members decided to take the clean up one step farther by separating recyclables from the trash they collected.
Volunteers with the group also handled the cooking for the free barbecue lunch provided to clean up participants.
OPAL will continue with its environmental efforts with its Trashapalooza event in Foldens on May 25, McSwiggan said. Starting at 8 a.m., Trashapalooza will give people the opportunity to keep their unwanted items from going to a landfill by making them available to others who could use or repurpose them.
“Instead of taking it out to the curb, it'll divert a lot of it so people can reuse it,” McSwiggan said.