Alex Elsey, General Manager of 505-Junk, reflects on his experience at the South Delta Shoreline Cleanup.
As I reflect back on the South Delta Shoreline Cleanup yesterday, I’m reminded that a small group of committed volunteers truly can affect change in the community they call home. Earth Day 2018 was greeted with some beautiful weather, which clearly made a difference. Mother Nature was kind enough to remind us of how lucky we are to live in such a unique area of the world. South Delta is surrounded by water, and many of us have long enjoyed the beautiful dykes and beaches that were here long before we left a footprint.
All it takes is one short walk down the beach to be reminded of the negative impact humans and our products have had on our lands and waters. Like any great initiative, it starts with a group of undeniably committed citizens. I was blown away by the amount of volunteers, and it was especially heartwarming to see how many people brought their kids along with them. This is a tight, small knit community that for one reason or another has chosen South Delta as a place to live, work and play. That small sense of community was on full display Sunday. There were full families with their kids and dogs. People from out of town that just so happened to see the event shared on social media, and of course long time residents that already do a huge part of protecting the shoreline.
Community Impact in South Delta
I was asked to join the South Delta Shoreline Cleanup by Brad Becir, a local realtor who is a committed resident of South Delta. Brad and I have both been residents of the South Delta community our whole lives and immediately saw eye to eye on the need for such an event. It made perfect sense for 505-Junk to be involved as our business was founded in South Delta, and many of our employees, myself included, live here. Our unique scales that are on all of our trucks coupled with the ability to weigh all of the material removed from the shoreline, made for a perfect marriage of achieving a cleaner shoreline as well as tracking the metrics to see the impact the group had made. There was styrofoam, propane tanks, parts of a fibreglass boat and almost anything else you could imagine clogging up our waters and shorelines.
85 volunteers removed 5,200 lbs of material
Are you ready for the results? Our group of 85 volunteers was able to remove 5,200 lbs of material from 15 different locations. That’s roughly 61 lbs of waste for each volunteer! Think about that for a second. Eighty-five volunteers working for 4 hours were able to accomplish that. Imagine what an even larger group could do? The event started as a small group with a common goal, and I can honestly say the group grew and so did the results. While we acknowledge this is a great start, there is still tonnes (literally) of work to be done! I’m very excited at the prospect of helping to organize this event again next year. Part of my role at 505-Junk is to build long lasting, honest relationships within the communities we serve. It’s a nice touch to be able to help in the beautiful community I call home.