Trash talk: Steady Brook resident says Humber River litter out of control
Ken Huxter says abandoned inflatable rafts are a huge part of the problem
A man in Steady Brook, on Newfoundland's west coast, is fed up with garbage piling up along the Humber River.
Ken Huxter, a retired fishing guide, has been enjoying the Humber River for almost 50 years.
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But he said the litter left behind by river travellers has gotten exponentially worse over the past few years.
It's like all sense of fairness and justice and cleanliness and quietness disappears.- Ken Huxter
"In the past three years it has been 100 fold or more," Huxter told CBC Radio's The Corner Brook Morning Show.
The litter Huxter said he is seeing ranges from beer and pop cans, to articles of clothing. A big problem, he said, is inexpensive, inflatable rafts and the people, or "rafters," who use them.
"These young people — and they range in all ages from two up to parents, but the majority of them are younger people — and their idea about preserving the beautiful river that they're rafting in is not as strong as it should be," he said.
"In some cases they're going down with beer and pop and juice, and water bottles of course, and loose items of clothing … And it is either being thrown out, [and] in some cases deposited on the river banks, [and] floating down the river."
Education, respect key
Huxter said he recently took his son-in-law fishing and in visiting only two stops along the river, he picked up a garbage bag full of trash.
He said he's even pulled a large abandoned tarp out of a tree.
"It just seems that when they get out here, and get excited about this lovely ride they're going to take, it's like all sense of fairness and justice and cleanliness and quietness disappears," Huxter said.
Huxter made it clear he does not blame professional tour companies for the garbage, adding the town is doing what they can by erecting signs and rope barriers.
The only solution in Huxter's mind is education, and teaching people who use the river for enjoyment "about the responsibility of preserving this beautiful, beautiful valley and river that we have here."
<a href="https://twitter.com/BerniceCBC">@BerniceCBC</a> agree with Ken! What SB boat launch looks like almost every evening plus all beer cans in river I see. <a href="https://t.co/pcSaRzPiwL">pic.twitter.com/pcSaRzPiwL</a>—@ScottRONiNphoto
With files from The Corner Brook Morning Show