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Resident challenging others to clean up streets as part of Great Nanaimo Garbage Grab

Errin Holtz starts community initiative after coming across discarded car part in her neighbourhood

A woman is challenging her fellow Nanaimo residents to clean up their streets.

Errin Holtz, who lives in the Uplands Drive area, was out for a walk Sunday and noticed trash strewn about, left behind with the recent snow melt. It inspired her to start what she’s calling the Great Nanaimo Garbage Grab. Holtz donned a pair of gloves and roamed her street, collecting refuse and she hopes other people in Nanaimo will do the same in their neighbourhoods.

“The city has limited resources to do things like this,” said Holtz. “They might come and pick up big things, but for the level of street trash, the candy wrappers, that kind of thing, they’re probably not going to do that. The street-sweepers come through, probably once or twice a year, but they’re not going to get everything up and off the street. So I took it on, on my own.”

If the intiative gains traction, Holtz hopes it can become an annual friendly competition, suggesting spring as a good time to hold it, aided by a social media blitz.

“Get everybody cleaning up their neighbourhoods, issue challenges,” said Holtz. “Maybe get some other cities involved. Why not, right? There’s not much to it except for communicating and getting the message out. There’s no meetings to hold, no bureaucracy to it, it’s just grab a bag, put some gloves on, go into a neighbourhood and pick up some garbage.”

Holtz said she feels a sense of pride when she sees her neighbourhood clean. She has recovered some interesting items.

“I picked up a mop head, a ton of COVID masks, obviously,” said Holtz. “I picked up a street sign today, one of those ‘kids playing’ signs that was laying on the ground.”

Holtz has posted her challenge on social media and has been met with positive response, including from the City of Nanaimo. The campaign continues till Feb. 16.

To find out more, search for the Great Nanaimo Garbage Grab page on Facebook.

READ ALSO: City tackling plowing, trash pickup after heavy snow

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

After interning at Vancouver Metro free daily newspaper, I joined Black Press in 2010.
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