Dozens of bikes and shopping carts removed from harbour

Alycia Douglass

Published on November 9, 2017

Shopping carts and bicycles are items which continue to be pulled out of the St. Lawrence River on a regular basis.

CORNWALL, Ontario – While the Great St. Lawrence River Cleanup may have wrapped up for the season, the city’s waste issue is ongoing.

Last week, divers removed 36 bicycles and 25 shopping carts from the West side of the Cornwall Harbour near Lock 15. St. Lawrence River Institute Communications Specialist, Karen Douglass Cooper says that keeping the city clean doesn’t have to be an organized event.

“If people feel motivated to take care of their city, they will,” said Douglass Cooper. “You don’t necessarily need to commit to a group in order to do that.”

Douglass Cooper says it’s as simple as bringing a bag and gloves along during a hike, or learning more about how to repurpose items.

“It’s our responsibility to learn how the waste chain works,” said Douglass Cooper. “As it stands, plastic is one of those things that unfortunately we use too much of. We need to take a look at our consumption, and re-evaluate some of our habits.”

The city’s waste issue is not limited to the eyesore it creates within the municipality; they pose a real threat to the area’s wildlife. With fish getting caught in settled shopping carts, Douglass Cooper says the debris have become increasingly problematic to the health of the river.

“A lot of wonderful work has been done, but our work continues,” said Douglass Cooper. “Ordinary people are capable of doing some pretty great things.”

In following with this initiative, Transition Cornwall + Waste Reduction Action Group will be hosting a launch event on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Cornwall Public Library. The event will encompass the 7 Rs of waste: refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, rot and re-think. For more information, check out the Facebook page.