Cheryl Warman, a Community School Coordinator for Anglophone North School District in New Brunswick (Rexton Area), is always looking to get youth involved in meaningful civic-pride building activities. When she saw ads for Encorp’s Recycling Heroes Community Cleanup Grants, she immediately thought that getting the summer student workers she supersvises at the Beersville Community Center involved in organizing litter cleanup events in the community over the summer months would be an ideal opportunity for them to work on their leadership and event/project organization skills, while also being beneficial to the environment and giving back to the community.
Cheryl reports that her summer student workers were immediately on board with the idea and decided to make cleanup events into a community-wide call to action. They had the brilliant idea of encouraging community members to get out and pick up litter as well as discarded recyclable items found along the roadways (particularly Route 465 in Beersville) and riverbanks by creating and launching a special cleanup challenge. They took on the role of project coordinators and decided to promote the cleanup challenge through a Facebook group and weekly ice cream socials, where they distributed Encorp’s Recycling Hero gloves and face masks and gave information to interested residents on how to take part in the challenge and where to properly dispose of – or drop off for recycling – various types of waste items. They even prepared an informational poster with details on how people could participate.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the cleanup challenge – launched in July 2021 – was the perfect way to get people participating in small cleanups on their own time and at their own pace, all the while respecting social distancing. Participants were simply asked to send in a photo proof of their litter pick-up and cleanup efforts to enter the chance to win a prize at the end of the challenge – which is ongoing until the end of August. Thus far, the student project coordinators, along with two employees from Atlantic Pacific Transport based in Clairville, NB, and some wonderful young people in the community have signed up and have taken part in the cleanup challenge.