Coffee drinkers, cigarette smokers asked to clean up act

Dave Mathieson
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Nick Mitchell puts garbage in a bag held by Isaac Atkinson while Lynden Bacon digs up some garbage behind them. It was all part of the Double D 4-H Club’s annual Earth Day cleanup on Robert Angus Drive. 

AMHERST – Cigarette butts, coffee cups and, yes, at least one condom.

Those were just a few of the thousands of items thrown from vehicles onto Robert Angus Drive over the past year.

“Seriously, I’m not joking,” said 13-year-old Seth Adams, a member of the Double D 4-H Club. “I found a condom.”

Donning rubber gloves and outfitted in safety vests, rubber boots and rain gear, Adams was one of about 20 members of the Double D 4-H Club who were cleaning garbage from the ditch along both sides of Robert Angus drive Sunday afternoon.

Club members said cigarette butts and coffee cups were the biggest offenders during the cleanup.

“There’s millions of cigarette butts,” said 13-year-old Nick Mitchell.

“And ton’s of coffee cups,” added 11-year-old Isaac Atkinson.

There was also a lot of wet paper, which was very difficult to pick up.

“It just breaks up in your hand,” said 10-year-old Lynden Bacon.

The Robert Angus Drive clean up is part of the club’s annual Earth Day ritual, and 4-H members are asking people to think twice before littering.

“It makes everything look bad and it stinks,” said Bacon. “And it’s bad for the environment.”

Karen Stone, parent of club member Rebecca Stone, was helping with the cleanup as well.

She agrees with Bacon, and has an Earth Day message we should all be able to agree upon.

“Be kind to our earth,” she said. “If people put their cigarettes in their own ashtrays and their coffee cups in their own garbage there wouldn’t be much left to pick up.”




Organizations: Double D 4-H Club

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Recent comments

  • Janet Dale
    April 28, 2013 - 09:25

    How does this article have anything to do with "work for welfare" programs? Did any of you read your comments back to yourselves ? It amazes me how the average citizen continues to make huge generalizations about a human being receiving assistance, whether it be EI, social assistance or other forms of support. So, the way your logic works is the "working man" can throw whatever the heck they want out their vehicles, make whatever choices they want and the unfortunate families who are living in systemic poverty or have severe mental health issues are around to clean up the mess?? Is that how it should work? Listen to what you are saying, I mean REALLY listen to your own words. I sincerely hope you all live your lives free of catastrophic illness, free of mental illness and always enjoy great employment opportunities. I hope you always remain blessed with the opportunties so many never achieve. May you never have to walk up the stairs or take the elevator to Community Services, begging for help so you don't lose a safe place to sleep or have to go to Autumn House in the middle of the night to keep your children safe... I know, we'll pull their children out of school too and make them clean up your tax paying, sanctimonious dribble. Good to see such great ideas coming from our upstanding rate payers who are filled with such tolerance for their neighbours. Ooops! I'm sure none of you would ever knowingly live next door to anyone receiving assistance, right?? or who uses the food bank? Can you tell by looking who does and who doesn't? I'm sure you think you can! Again, read your words before you send them out to the world and keep enjoying your blessings and opportunities.Ohh, and maybe try using your actual names when you send these great ideas into the paper; if you're proud of your intolerance and have all the answers then claim them :)

  • justagirl
    April 24, 2013 - 11:03

    I agree with some comments, and have always believed that people recieving welfare should be made to commit so many hours to volunteer services per week. As for the people on EI, yeah they pay the EI insurance so thats a gray area. But definitly those at home on welfare. if we are paying your wages, give back to the community and I would think it would make people feel better about themselves and their community as well

  • noodle
    April 22, 2013 - 08:18

    Tossing coffee cups and other trash onto the side of the road is disgusting and only a filthy low-life would do so, but throwing out a cigarette butt is even worse because it's dangerous. How many lives have been lost from forest fires caused by careless smokers? Anyone caught tossing a butt out should be made an example of by being charged with reckless endangerment.

  • noodle
    April 22, 2013 - 08:11

    I agree with making able-bodied welfare recipients contribute towards their income by doing jobs like this; it might even wean some off the system and get them back into the workforce. However, EI is an insurance that workers already pay into so I don't think they should be penalized for collecting it by having to pick up trash along the highway. Quite frankly, that time would be better spent finding a job before their EI runs out and they end up on welfare.

  • sm
    April 22, 2013 - 06:20

    hahah Bill I was gonna type the same thing. you hit the nail right on the head on that one.

  • just saying
    April 22, 2013 - 05:49

    Glad to see they found evidence that at least one person was practicing safe driving. It is a bit extreme, but you can never be too safe.

  • bill
    April 21, 2013 - 21:09

    maybe they should get welfare and unemployment workers to do this every spring and fall to get there money that will make jobs and start the work force going