PEI

'Ridiculous' amount of beach trash frustrates Murray Harbour man

A Murray Harbour man has once again collected a "ridiculous" amount of garbage that has washed up on a local beach and is asking for help hauling the trash to the dump.

'It's an exceptionally large amount of garbage but it's not uncommon, which is unfortunate'

'I'm surprised by the amount, but this is a problem everywhere,' says Jim Aquilani of the amount of trash he's found on a White Sands beach. (Submitted by Jim Aquilani)

A Murray Harbour man has once again collected a "ridiculous" amount of garbage that has washed up on a local beach and is asking for help hauling the trash to the dump.

Since mid-November Jim Aquilani gathered the huge pile of garbage — three metres in circumference and four metres high — at White Sands Beach between Daley Road and MacFarlane Road. 

"It's an exceptionally large amount of garbage but it's not uncommon, which is unfortunate," Aquilani said.

"There is some household garbage but I'd say 95 per cent of it is fishing gear." 

'Make people more aware'

Aquilani has lived in the area for about a decade and has been picking up trash whenever he goes for one of his frequent walks on the beach.

'I'd say 95 per cent of it is fishing gear,' says Jim Aquilani of the trash he's collected on a White Sands beach. (Submitted by Jim Aquilani)

This is not the first time he's amassed a big pile: he did the same thing last summer, making large artful piles or trash "trees."

Now Aquilani is asking for his neighbours' help hauling the trash to the dump, especially those with trucks and trailers.

"What I'd like to do is have some local people help out with the cleanup and I think that would make people more aware, because they may not notice what's going on in their own back yard," he said.

'Get a handle on it'

"It makes me feel that if people took to cleaning up their own beaches this stuff wouldn't move from beach to beach and we'd actually be able to get a handle on it."

Jim Aquilani says he gathered this pile of trash on the beach at White Sands Tuesday morning in just one hour. (Submitted by Jim Aquilani)

It's too windy to try to move the trash right now, Aquilani said, so he is organizing the cleanup via Facebook for some time in the next two weeks — on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday when the beach waste can be dropped off for free at a local garbage depot, he said. 

While conservation and fishing groups carry out beach cleanups a few times a year, Aquilani is encouraging Islanders to clean up trash as they come across it.   

"People can go to their own beaches and help clean them up on a regular basis, rather than waiting til it's just such a mess that it's almost impossible to do it with one person," he said. 

"I'm surprised by the amount, but this is a problem everywhere," he concluded. 

With files from Krystalle Ramlakhan

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