After living here in Montreal for the majority of 2014, I have most definitely heard the place “Mount Royal” being thrown around in my time here. It’s surprising in some ways that I have spent all this time here and yet my first visit to Mount Royal is a scant few weeks before we return to the U.S. at the end of the semester.
The reason for our visit on this day, a Thursday afternoon, was to clean up trash around the environment. I must preface the rest of our time at Mount Royal with two thoughts first. First should be that I do consider myself quite environmentally friendly, conscious, and helpful. I also, conversely to this, was not exactly ecstatic to be spending my afternoon picking up trash at Mount Royal. Both of these having been said, I have to say that I did not groan and grumble my way through the afternoon–I was actually pretty invested and okay with this work! It must have been a part of me feeling lazy and in the thought process of all school work being boring and cumbersome, but heading into the assignment I was not looking forward to even a slight amount of physical labor. Once we got there, however, I found myself quite jovial at the prospect of stretching my legs and cleaning the place up! It had to have been at least partially due to the weather getting nicer, and the trash we cleaned up was never especially dirty, grimy, or worst of all slimy. The worst of trash that we found was probably some ratty and torn apart plastic baggies you know had some food in it at some point, now reduced to disgusting detritus. Of all the trash at Mount Royal, this was also the most prominent and took up the brunt of our expedition.
We traveled around the base of the mountain for a solid half an hour and in that time found enough trash and recycling to fill up easily 5 or 6 garbage bags full. Honestly, this was both alarming and disgusting to me. To see this much waste and the specific materials thrown out was surprising as anything; from broken beer bottles and tin cans to plastic bags and pouches to the weird debris such as entire towels or broken ceramic plates. What was interesting to note was that none of this was especially notable if one was to take a stroll around the base of Mount Royal. Upon closer inspection and a knowledgeable eye, however, trash seemed to pour out the woodworks every which way and we were there to pick it up. I can’t say I was especially pleased to go on this trip, although to be honest it ended up being quite salvageable and enjoyable and, while not something I might do on my day off, was not an altogether unpleasant afternoon.
– Dan Thomas, Game Design Major, Spring 2014