Warmer weather draws people and animals out to parks, where litter abounds

Toronto's citywide cleanup events begin at the end of April, but cleanup volunteers are at work on their own

top left: Jessica Bernard picks up cigarette butts and puts them into a reused container at Riverdale Park East. Top right: A broken toy truck was left behind at Carlaw Avenue Parkette's playground. Bottom left: The Woodbine Beach shoreline with hundreds of people and families enjoying the brief warmup for the Warmest day in March. Bottom right: At Riverdale Park East, the stairs down from the road to the dog park field has a grate pattern that many people have used as on ash tray, leaving behind the butts.
Top left: Jessica Bernard picks up cigarette butts at Riverdale Park East. Top right: An abandoned broken toy truck at Carlaw Avenue Parkette’s playground. Bottom left: Families enjoy the warm weather at Woodbine Beach. Bottom right: Cigarette butts litter Riverdale Park East, (Kat Bergeron/Toronto Observer) 

Neighbourhood cleanups may not be scheduled until the end of April, but volunteers like Jessica Bernard and help keep East York parks clean when they can. Bernard’s most frequently found type of litter is cigarette butts. Contrary to a popular belief, cigarette filters are not biodegradable, as they’re made from a plastic component, cellulose acetate. The Toronto Observer captured Bernard in action and surveyed east-end parks during the warm spell mid-March.

Discarded dining utensils at Carlaw Avenue Parkette (Kat Bergeron/Toronto Observer)
A bag filled with trash removed from the ground at Carlaw Avenue Parkette reads, "litter picked up by a volunteer," beside the garbage bin.
“Litter picked up by a volunteer,” said the note left in the bag, beside the garbage bin at Carlaw Avenue Parkette. (Photo credit: Kat Bergeron/Toronto Observer)

A woman sits on the bench to take a call, having to ignore the trash at her feet.
This bench and the litter underneath sit just inside the entrance to the Carlaw Avenue Parkette. (Kat Bergeron/Toronto Observer)

The pier at Woodbine Beach has a beautiful view of the sunset, but cigarettes line the ground if you look closely. (Kat Bergeron/Toronto Observer)
A bag of dog poop sits among the grass and leaves.
A Riverdale East Park visitor picked up after their dog, but forgot the bag. (Kat Bergeron/Toronto Observer)
Abandoned drink cups at Carlaw Avenue Parkette, Todmorden Mills Park, and Riverdale Park East. (Kat Bergeron/Toronto Observer)

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Posted: Mar 19 2024 9:00 am
Filed under: News