Every year from September 15-23, Canadians gather together to clean up their shores. The banks of lakes, streams, ponds, and ocean are traversed by volunteers who recycle or dispose of litter. For the first time, students at Champlain and Concordia University paired up to scour the shore of Parc Jean Drapeau. With a gorgeous view of Montreal across the river, the students were armed with gloves and trash and recycling bins. They tallied each category of litter that they found, and turned up with some unusual items. The most common piece of garbage was cigarette butts, which the students collected 166 within one hour. In second place was 72 bottle caps or lids, then 57 plastic bottles. They also found a rusty road sign so old that a mature tree had grown into it, shoes, a 6 ft tall metal pipe, and fishing nets. In total, the students collected about 70 lbs of garbage. Students commented after that they wish they had more time to clean up, since there was so much shoreline and there was still much more litter around. They also mentioned that they didn’t realize so many cigarette butts end up on the ground. Thanks to their work, Parc Jean Drapeau is a little cleaner.
–Post by SCI 155 faculty, Shona Watt