Cleanup saves recyclables from going to the dump

Ward 3 Coun. Evert Botha has partnered with Loraas Environmental Services for the two consecutive years he's organized a community cleanup for Pitch-In Week. (Evert P. Botha, Councillor for Ward 3 Prince Albert/Facebook)

Ward 3 Coun. Evert Botha and his “army” of volunteers collected about 20 bins of waste from their Pitch-In Week initiatives.

Pitch-In Week is a national campaign that aims to encourage communities to pick up litter after the snow melts.

“I’ve always said that a cleaner, safer, environmental community is a more secure community,” said Botha.

“There’s definitely a lot more that we hauled away by weight and by volume than last year. We did about 12 bins and eight tonnes last year of general waste.”

From Tuesday through Sunday, the group accepted furniture, mattresses, appliances, yard waste and all sorts of items that could be composted or repurposed at the Prince Albert Exhibition Association.

This year’s goal was to prevent as many items as possible from going to the landfill.

Botha said they had about three bins filled with metal items, three or four bins of yard waste, about a dozen lawnmowers that will be repaired and distributed back to the community and higher value items that will be donated to auctions.

Although they saved more items from going to the dump, Botha said their team of volunteers was smaller this year than last, which was his first year organizing a cleanup.

“Next year, we’ll probably only have the community cleanup running Friday through Sunday because it is a long week for everyone,” he said.

Nonetheless, Botha said the group was dedicated to the cause.

“(I’m) always humbled when people take on a challenge and support such an initiative and I’m just grateful that people are renovating and cleaning up and assisting in any way possible because that’s what being a community is all about.”

All funds collected go to the restoration of the Octagonal Building on the exhibition grounds. The municipal heritage property was constructed in 1905.

Botha added the concession, which sold hot dogs and hamburgers throughout the week, didn’t sell as much as the team anticipated, but they’ll continue to have a stand in future years.

Ward 1 Coun. Charlene Miller and Ward. 2 Coun. Terra Lennox-Zepp also hosted cleanups.