Scores of children help divert beach garbage from landfill
Field-tripping children and volunteers race to clear a warehouse of recyclables
Groups of school children have been pitching in to help the Ocean Legacy Foundation keep tonnes of waste gathered on Vancouver Island beaches from winding up in the dump.
The garbage was gathered by several groups of volunteers over the spring and summer and hauled to the Lower Mainland on barges for sorting and disposal.
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The Ocean Legacy Foundation has until the end of this weekend to clear the warehouse, according to its acting president, Chloe Dubois.
Krista Tulloch is a teacher from North Vancouver and an organizer with B.C. Field Trips. She put the call out to teachers to bring their students to the warehouse to help sort through the junk.
Several classes have answered that call, with 35 students from False Creek Elementary sorting through the junk last week, 120 Grade 4 and 5 students from Norma Rose Point School stopping by the warehouse on Thursday, and another 75 children from Surrey Christian School will help on Friday.
"We had 60 students in the morning pile up a gigantic mountain of Styrofoam, and that made sure that by last night that mountain was going to be moved out of the warehouse and onto its recycling site," said Tulloch.
"Then in the afternoon another 60 little hands — or 60 little bodies — helped to bale all of the hard plastic that had been sorted by volunteers."
"They're just like little bees buzzing about, and 'boop,' given really clear directions, they do an amazing job," she said.
Dubois agreed that the children have been a great help.
"They are little busy bees. It was pretty impressive, you know, seeing a string of 10 kids carrying a big black pipe over their heads and Styrofoam was being passed around," she said.
"They got a lot of work done, and it seemed in only a matter of minutes, so it was a delight to see."
Dubois said about 50 adult volunteers have also taken part in the effort.
"It's been a really enriching experience overall, I think, for everybody," she said, adding that the warehouse should be in good shape to return to Lush by the end of the weekend.
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