Pick it up

Times-Herald Staff
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It's amazing what you can find on the streets of Moose Jaw.

Christine Feiffer of Scotia Bank sweeps the street during Pick It Up cleanup on Thursday. Volunteers hit the streets Wednesday morning from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. to beautify our city sidewalks, streeets, and boulevards.

Car parts? A Waffle? Underwear? Those were just a few of the things Crystal Froese, a volunteer of the Pick It Up initiative found as she was cleaning up Main Street on Thursday morning.

"It's just incredible the amount of stuff that's out there," said Froese. "We worked from the bottom of Main Street by the railway station and went all the way to the 4th Avenue bridge and we could still be out there." 

The hour-long cleanup on Thursday morning, from 8-9 a.m., saw volunteers from seven groups cleanup downtown Moose Jaw and other areas of the city. 

It was the pinnacle activity of Pick It Up Month, which was declared by Mayor Deb Higgins last week.

Froese said the group put a dint in the messy streets but that mess is more serious than people know.

"I think the thing that people don't realize is the stuff you throw out of your car windows —the cigarette butts you put out on the ground and the coffee cups — ... will eventually end up in the river system."

Froese explained that while she was cleaning up around drains that lead to the river system she found a lot of garbage that eventually ends up in our drinking water.

"A lot of people think they are somehow filtered through the waste water management system but they are not," Froese said. "They are drainage systems that go directly into the rivers. "

It's a case a lack of pride in the cleanliness and beauty of the city, she said. For things to improve everyone needs to take responsibility.

Christine Feiffer, a volunteer from Scotia Bank was one of those citizens who decided to take responsibility on Thursday.

"We all want to live in a beautiful place and we need to pick up our trash and cleanup so our city is nice," said Feiffer of why she volunteered. "We want our customers to come to a place that is nice and clean — and it looks better for our city."

One of the most common pieces of trash found on the city streets are cigarette butts. Froese suggests a need for businesses to have cigarette receptacles outside their buildings.

"There isn't any," she said of receptacles. "When you look downtown there are thousands and thousands of cigarette butts. These are Little things that can be done."

This year's cleanup was the third Pick It Up initiative and was first organized in 2012 by Froese and Coun. Heather Eby.

The remainder of Pick It Up month will not have any formal cleanups, but will have many groups still cleaning up different parts of the city and focussing on raising awareness on the need for each person to do their part in making our city clean and beautiful.

"Until the citizens of Moose Jaw really start to rally around this, we won't see changes," said Froese before adding that if everyone took an hour to cleanup Moose Jaw it could be the litter free capital of Saskatchewan.

Nathan Frank can be reached at 306-691-1263.

Organizations: Scotia Bank

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, 4th Avenue, Saskatchewan

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