- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Coming off the clear calm water at the east side boat launch this morning, we found the dry land strewn with a gull family's breakfast.

boatlaunchgarbage2This smorgasbord of garbage – from Macdonalds, Wendys, KFC, Tim Hortons, some home-made lunches and a diaper – was not litter.

It had clearly been in the receptacles provided, but between the wind, the squirrels and the birds, it was now spread across 100 square feet of grass and gravel, and headed for the water.

People eat before they launch, or take their take-out on their boat and then use the open receptacles provided at the boat launch when they pull the boat out.

I took these photos and sent them through the “Report a Concern” function on the City's website. It's the first thing you see if you go to owensound.ca on your cell phone, and the first blue button on the desktop version.

Because I had the time and equipment, I put all the garbage in one of the cans and Ted tied up the garbage bag to keep the gulls somewhat at bay. If I hadn't, City staff would have.

By this evening (and likely much sooner than that) it was all gone. The “Report a Concern” functioned just as it should.Screen Shot 2023 05 27 at 8.21.38 AM

We need garbage receptacles with proper lids – windproof and bird-proof, or at least bird-discouraging, Then neither volunteers nor paid staff would have to pick up what our neighbours have already put in the garbage at least once, and we could all do other more rewarding things with our time.

This last picture is what I picked up off the shore just 15 feet north of the boat launch. The inhaler might have been dropped from a pocket, but I'm guessing everything else, from the play dough container and shampoo bottle to the coffee cups and water bottles, were once in a garbage or recycling bin somewhere in the city. They've blown into the water and washed up on the shore, along with the dozens of pieces of styrofoam from fish coolers and boat bumpers.

Food for thought.



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