By Jeremy Fraser
Sept. 16, 2015
When Ed O’Quinn looks outside from his down town New Waterford business all he can do is shake his head.
In recent weeks, O’Quinn, whose business is at the corner of Plummer Avenue and Eighth Street, has noticed a large amount of trash in front.
“It seems like I’m out cleaning litter from around my store more than I’m in the store working.”
A group of local volunteers has formed a committee in efforts to bring awareness to an ongoing problem of litter on the streets in New Waterford.
Joan Chiasson-MacDonald has organized the annual town clean up day for years. The interest was good at first, but has slowly declined in recent years, she said.
“We want to try something different. This year, we would like to try having a clean-up-the-town week, instead of just one day.”
Nine citizens, including councillor Lowell Cormier, attended a public meeting at the New Waterford Fire Hall on Sept. 15 to discuss the litter problem.
Many residents in town are concerned about the issue, but it can be difficult to get people involved, said Chiasson-MacDonald.
“Whatever litter is picked up in the community is a bonus. When a person helps out they always feel good after, a sense of an achievement.”
There are many streets in town, including Plummer Avenue, where litter is visible. to the public. That is frustrating, she said.
“People don’t have pride in their community. There are communities in Canada known for being beautiful and clean of litter, and I wish New Waterford would fall under that category.”
All it takes is people getting involved, she said.
“I think people need to be asked. Often times most people see ads and articles and think others will do it, but if a person is asked one-on-one, you have a better chance of getting a commitment from them.”
If more residents took pride in the community, there wouldn’t be a littler problem, said O’Quinn.
“We all have to do our part to keep our community clean and respectable.”
Chiasson-MacDonald encourages residents to clean their own properties.
“If everyone took pride in their property, many people do, but unfortunately it’s an ongoing thing. If we cleaned it up little by little, then the property itself would look so much nicer.
“If others see you cleaning your property, it might encourage them to do the same with their own.”
The committee plans another public meeting for Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Mount Carmel Gym to discuss ways to clean up the town.
Chiasson-MacDonald encourages residents to show up.
“I would be thrilled to see Mount Carmel filled with concerned residents. Even if you can’t go to this meeting, talk to people who are there and get involved.”