BY SHANNA FREDERICKS
Thirty-three bags of garbage from just 5 km of road. Roadside littering continues to be a significant and bewildering problem in our province. Since 2010, Coastal Action has been removing roadside garbage from Route 3 between Lunenburg and Mahone Bay on a biannual basis. With just 6 months between each cleanup, we’re continually disappointed with the volume of waste we find from year to year.
On May 3, just one day before Nova Scotia’s Adopt-a-Highway Day, we collected 33 bags of garbage along our stretch of road as part of the Adopt-a-Highway Program. Tim Hortons cups, plastic bags, straws, and energy drink cans dominated this season’s haul.
Now in its 26th year, the Adopt-a-Highway Program provides businesses, organizations, and volunteer groups with a chance to improve the health of our environment and local communities by removing garbage from roadsides and interchanges. Over 170 groups have adopted more than 1,000 kilometers of secondary roads and 18 highway exits. These dedicated volunteers remove an average of 6,000 bags of garbage and recycling each year.
Here are just a few of the benefits of this great program:
Now that I’ve convinced you, why not find a way to get involved! Adopting a stretch of highway or an exit is easy, free, and a great way to connect with your community and get outdoors. If you’re looking to join an existing group, check out the map on the Adopt-a-Highway Program’s website to find a group near you. If you’re looking for less of a commitment, we’re always looking for volunteers to join us as we clean up Route 3 or take part in our many shoreline cleanups along the south shore.