By ALI RAZA, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford is calling on visitors to the beaches to not to pollute this weekend.
The councillor referenced littering at Woodbine and Kew beaches earlier this week as more people visited the beach following an ease in some COVID-19 restrictions and warmer weather.
“The pictures we’re all seeing of the garbage down at the beach are frustrating,” he said. “While a lot of what we saw on the beach was due to Wednesday (June 10) night’s storms, the outcry from the community is reflective of a longer-standing issue over garbage being left on the beach persistently.”
More garbage bins were placed on the beaches on Tuesday, while Wednesday’s storm blew over some of those bins. The city’s Solid Waste Management Services department is responsible for servicing the bins seven days a week each morning at 6 a.m.
“What about the end of the day?” Bradford said. “That’s why we need community input – some of the systems we have in place make sense on a spreadsheet or work program, but not always in practice.”
Bradford added that he’s asking Parks and Solid Waste Management staff to step up on monitoring of beaches, start regular cleanup after weekends – especially during summer months – and develop long term solutions to keep the beach clean.
COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily halted traditional community cleanups where crowds would gather to help collect litter. Bradford encourages community members to still do their part to keep the beaches clean as traditional community cleanups have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
“We all want to help,” he said. “Instead, I started a campaign to make Saturday #BeautifulBeach day. I’m encouraging the community and visitors to make a special effort to help keep the beach clean on Saturday and post pictures of them cleaning litter – if it’s safe to do so – with the hashtag #BeautifulBeach.”
Bradford also encourages residents to post photos of the beach this weekend with the hashtag #BeautifulBeach to promote a litter-free beach.
As the City of Toronto remains in the province’s Stage 1 of reopening, physical distancing and the use-of-masks guidelines are still in place.
- Ali Raza is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.