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Keeping Chilliwack clean takes the whole community

Eve Pryor and Mary Bates were two of the 150 volunteers that took part in the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society
Eve Pryor and Mary Bates were two of the 150 volunteers that took part in the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society's cleanup in the summer of 2013. Their next cleanup is this Saturday.
— image credit: CHRIS GADSDEN FILE PHOTO

This Saturday will feature the 41st cleanup event organized by the Chilliwack-Vedder River Cleanup Coalition starting from the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve.

Registration for the cleanup run 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the nature reserve.

The volunteers expect to add substantially to the incredible total of 87.7 metric tonnes of garbage collected in past cleanups since 2002. It took concerted efforts by 6,226 volunteers who donated 24,904 volunteer hours of work to yield those totals.

The April 12 river cleanup will go ahead rain or shine, so dress appropriately for the weather, wear sturdy footwear and bring a refillable drink container, say organizers.

They will supply garbage bags, recycling bags, gloves and refreshments. More information on the Vedder/Chilliwack system cleanup is at www.cleanrivers.ca or FB page https://www.facebook.com/#!/cvrcs

Those who enjoy recreational activities on Vedder Mountain, are welcome to join the annual Vedder Mountain cleanup on Sunday, April 13 at 9:30 a.m. A free hot lunch will be provided to volunteers at this event. More at www.vmta.ca.

Meanwhile, across town last weekend they removed 9300 kg of trash from the banks of the Fraser River.

On Saturday, April 5, about 170 volunteers joined organizers with the Fraser Riverkeeper Society to tackle local sections of the Fraser.

They disposed of mattresses, shotgun shells, household garbage and even an old safe.

The event was hosted by the Fraser Riverkeeper Society, Woodtone and Rotz Disposal.

“It was incredible to see so many people give up their Saturday to participate in this river cleanup,” said Acting Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove. “Having so many different user groups in the area come together sends a strong message that illegal dumping is unacceptable and will be reported.”

The City of Chilliwack waived the tipping fees for the materials collected.

“The river is my family’s backyard, it’s where we go camping, quadding, fishing,” said Andy Rotzetter, owner and president of Rotz Disposal. “It’s a place we really love, but the way some people treat it is just shameful."

He offered sincere thanks to those who helped.

“This year's huge success is another great example of the collective effort of user groups and people from all walks of life," said Kevin Raffle of Woodtone. "All of us have a stake in what is happening in these places our children are going to inherit. The message we're hearing loud and clear from everyone at the cleanup was 'Let's solve this problem. We're not going to tolerate this anymore in our community.'"

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