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In municipalities across the province, litter is moving out of the ditches and into the spotlight. We are hearing an increasingly clear message from citizens and businesses that litter is incompatible with civic pride, duty and prosperity. The quality of public space matters to everyone.

Some people will say that we benefit from synthetic materials, such as plastics, because of their durability, low cost, and light weight. Unfortunately, these same properties pose problems for the environment. Being extremely stable, they do not readily break down but tend to remain in the environment for many years. Each year, more debris is released into the environment and as time goes on the amount of debris in the environment increases and is both harmful to both wildlife and people.

The best way to educate the public about this serious environmental problem is to start with people you know. If someone you know litters, question them on it and tell them it affects all of our personal and public spaces as well as the environment. And let us all take civic pride in our beautiful community of Mission, join the District of Mission staff and the Mission Adopt-A-Block Society in revitalizing unsightly neglected and littered spaces, both urban and green spaces, and help pick up litter as you walk down the street, visit city neighborhoods and parks.

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With over 700 volunteers participating in Adopt-A-Block’s litter control program throughout the calendar year (both individual volunteers, Junior Anti Litter Bug Club members and group participants), along with a dedicated Board of Directors, the Society has made great strides in increasing litter awareness and in helping to clean Mission. These volunteers have adopted areas in their neighborhood that require constant litter maintenance and are provided with equipment and guidance to make the job easier and safer.

On average, 150 garbage bags of litter are collected off our streets each month! It takes dedication, motivation and courage to take responsibility for litter discarded by other people, and to proceed to pick it up not only in their neighborhoods but in strange neighborhoods as well, and sometimes in unpleasant weather conditions. Our volunteers do this generously for the health of the environment, the safety of our kids, and the well-being of the community. The rewards are numerous including enjoying the outdoors, getting physical exercise, empowering civic pride, building community connections and more.

So, next time you see a volunteer wearing a yellow vest and picking-up litter, please give them a HONK! and a friendly wave of appreciation. Better yet, help them out by becoming a volunteer yourself! The litter control program is an excellent activity to do not only as an individual, but as a family or as a youth group, sports team or community group. It’s an easy activity to add to your daily walking route, and will make a more pleasant walk in the long run.

You can also help by letting us know what you think about the litter problem in Mission and how we might help prevent and reduce it. Call or email us today