Nfld. & Labrador

Tired of trail trash, 2 bikers do something about it in Massey Drive

Two friends recently devoted their spare time — and spare change — to tackling an persistent problem.

Friends gathered two truckloads of garbage in about an hour's time

Doug Miller and Greg Grant cleaned up two truckloads of garbage in about an hour's time. (Submitted)

Doug Miller has been mountain biking since the '90s, and as the years have cycled by, his love for the trails around Massey Drive hasn't waned.

But sadly, neither has the ugly problem of illegal dumping.

"Everything from old barbecue frames to mattresses, beds, even cushions," Miller said.

"You name it, it's out there."

In June, something snapped inside Miller and his biking buddy Greg Grant.

"We had both been riding it for years, and we both agreed, we don't want to see this anymore. We don't want to ride past it," he told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning Show.

"There's kid programs out there on the trails now. The younger kids are out, and they're seeing all this stuff. It's time for people to wake up a bit."

1 hour, 2 trucks

Grant and Miller selected a prime garbage spot for their efforts, a flat and accessible section of trail just behind Massey Drive. After covering a span of about 200 metres, which they did within an hour, the pair had filled both their pickup trucks.

"For that small area, I expected maybe a truck load would take it, but there was a lot," Miller said, who said the pair filled up about nine garbage bags in addition to collecting mattresses and other large junk.

Doug Miller says he and a few friends are planning another trail cleanup soon. (Doug Miller/Submitted)

"Underneath the mattresses there was more stuff that we hadn't seen. It just kept coming and coming. Eventually we got it all."

And instead of continuing the trend of dumping trash where — theoretically — nobody sees it, the pair capped off their clean-up by unloading their trucks at the facility designed to deal with it in the first place.

"We took them to the dump, and we paid out of our own pockets. It's not great, but it wasn't that expensive," he said, estimating it cost about $20 to get rid of the garbage the legal way.

It's time for people to wake up a bit.- Doug Miller

"I thought for that price, I'd rather have a nice clean bike trail, and clean up the environment a little bit — do my part, that kinda thing. I didn't mind."

What Miller does mind is the garbage he still constantly sees out in the woods. He has plans to organize another cleanup with friends, but the problem remains.

"I don't know what the solution is."

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show