Recycling Heroes at Bathurst High School Lead Two-Week Litter Cleanup Event

Congratulations to our Recycling Heroes at Bathurst High School which benefited from one of our Community Cleanup Grants for the spring-summer season of 2021! With our support, they held a very first Annual Street Cleaning Event during the weeks of May 10 and May 17, 2021.

Participating classes signed up for a specific time and were each assigned a location within walking distance of the school to clean up litter on the streets. During the cleanup, students made sure that recyclable items they found were taken back to the school to be added to the bins of the school’s recycling program and that all other waste items would be properly disposed of.

The students were surprised and a bit disheartened to see that unfortunately, even in 2021, litter remains a problem! So much litter was picked up along the streets that the students went through a box of 100 industrial-sized garbage bags.  Among other things, they collected 9 tires, a BBQ, a range hood, thousands of cigarette butts, 221 refundable/recyclable empty beverage containers and the list goes on.

The event was a HUGE success with 44 classes taking part (which translates to 44 hours of litter cleanup and 342 students out one or more times during the two-week-long event). The school even ended up having to secure transportation to go out a little further and tackle a few problem areas in the city when the students ran out of areas to clean within walking distance. There was a lot of buzz on social media and much attention by the local radio station highlighting the great work being done by the students. Cars would honk as they drove by to encourage the students and walkers in the area commented that they really saw a difference and thanked the students for their hard work.

Bathurst High School hopes to make its Street Cleaning Event an annual one with the intent of reaching out to other local schools to help cover a greater geographical area in future editions. The students are now so inspired and enthusiastic about litter cleanup that they are encouraging the Mayor and council to bring back its adopt-a-street program to ensure their city remains clean and free of litter.

Special shout out to Bathurst High School teacher Shannon Lavigne for organizing and undertaking this project! Bravo to you and to all participating students at Bathurst High School for showing and inspiring us with such tremendous environmental leadership!

Map with litter cleanup areas shown in pink. 

Shannon’s classroom was the hub for supplies before students headed out to their designated areas.

Students were very hard at work cleaning up litter!

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