British Columbia

Vancouver couple plunges into False Creek waters to haul out garbage bins

When a Vancouver couple went for a run in Olympic Village Sunday, they got more than they bargained for when they spotted two garbage cans floating in Hinge Park Creek.

Kenneth Tynan and Katherine Flitton spotted the garbage bin in the waters around Olympic Village Sunday

Katherine Flitton and Kenneth Tynan took matters into their own hands when they say the City of Vancouver couldn't respond to their complaint of a floating garbage bin in Hinge Park Creek. (Lisa Jing Mu/Submitted)

A Vancouver couple going for a Sunday jog got more than they bargained for when they spotted two City of Vancouver garbage cans floating in Hinge Park Creek.

Kenneth Tynan said the waterway that's fed by False Creek was dotted with garbage.

"This dark garbage bin was just floating there, and we thought that's kind of very disconcerting and disgusting."

His girlfriend, Katherine Flitton, phoned the city which said there wasn't anyone available to remove the garbage bins, and they would wait until the trash floated to shore.

Braving the water

That's when the 25-year-old says she took the cleanup upon herself. 

"I took off socks and my sweatshirt and I just started walking into the water and dragging out the green bin ... it was pretty cold."

The garbage bin was seen floating in Hinge Park Creek on Dec. 2, 2018. (Lisa Jing Mu/Submitted)

Tynan helped her lug the large bin out of the water. Those walking through the area took notice of what was going on, including Lisa Jing Mu.

"I was really moved actually ... there are a lot of people who pass by and kind of looked over and went, 'oh isn't that a shame?' Or, 'oh that's terrible,'" she said. "It's just really, really remarkable."

City encourages citizen cleanups

Flitton and Tynan were disappointed with the city's response. They're sharing their story in an effort to push the city to take the cleanup of False Creek more seriously.

"There's a lot of wildlife in that area, and there's even ducks swimming around," said Flitton. "I just wanted to be able to help out in any way I could and what they were telling us was a little bit ridiculous."

Albert Samess, the City of Vancouver's director of waste management and resource recovery, says he didn't have a record of a call about garbage floating in Hinge Park Creek.

He applauds the couple's actions. 

"If people are willing to take on that sort of thing themselves, it's really a great initiative, and we really appreciate it. It's hard for us to be everywhere and do everything."

Samess also says the city helps in planning neighbourhood cleanup initiatives if a group of volunteers is wanting to take that on.

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