The Weather Network
May. 25, 2022 | Wednesday
Local News
Spring road cleanup coincides with Earth Day weekend
John Bobrel picks up a plastic straw, just one of the many pieces of trash he picked up on Saturday. (Richard Harley)

It was a couple of days after Earth Day, but that didn't stop Niagara-on-the-Lake resident John Bobrel from heading out with a recycling box and a trash grabber in hand to clean up the roadways near his house.

Bobrel lives with his wife Debbie in Garrison Village. Their property is about nine acres, mostly forest, that backs onto Lakeshore Road.

He was out cleaning up where Two Mile Creek crosses the road — something he does about four times a year.

This year it happened to coincide with Earth Day weekend.

"It is Earth Day, or we're celebrating it anyways," he said.

"Usually we get a lot of floodplain debris that comes in and floods our property, but it also carries a lot of garbage. So usually in the spring and the fall we go through and collect a few bins of stuff."

He finds things like bottles, paper cups and bits of plastic. Even tires can make their way up the creek.

He does it mainly to keep trash off his property, he confesses, but as a runner who uses the Niagara Parkway trail, he also sees more trash around than ever, and likes to help keep it "out of the environment."

"It's self-serving. We like to keep our property clean and stuff, and the roadside here. And it's unfortunate that so many people (litter)," noting he finds plenty of coffee cups and even water bottles.

"And then with the advent of COVID, and so many people not being able to eat at restaurants or whatever, they're getting takeout. Well, unfortunately, a lot of takeout containers end up being thrown out the window."

Bobrel is recently retired from  43 seasons as head electrician at the Shaw Festival, and said now he's got a bit more time on his hands to get out and tidy up the planet.

His words of Earth Day wisdom?

"Ideally, people shouldn't be throwing stuff away," but "I think if people just stop and pick up a few things here and there, that would make all the difference."

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