Take #trashtag to the next level by signing up for the annual river cleanup

Mar 22 2019, 8:42 pm

Believe it or not, cleaning up trash around the neighbourhood isn’t just a recent fad.

Long before #trashtag started making the rounds on social media, the City of Calgary was organizing an annual pathway and river cleanup to keep the city looking in tip-top shape.

If you’re hoping to get in on the trending hashtag and do something good to help out YYC, the City of Calgary is asking volunteers to sign up for this year’s spring clean.

Participants will spend the day on the first Sunday of May with garbage bags in hand, clearing the past year’s accumulated litter from the city’s public parks, green spaces, and, you guessed it, rivers and pathways.

According to a tweet from the City of Calgary, the initiative was started back in 1967 by 12-year-old Sandra Crawford after she saw a mattress in the Elbow River and decided to actually do something about it.

While she couldn’t haul the soaking wet mattress out on her own, she wrote the Calgary Herald about her plight, starting the first ever Pathway and River Cleanup — basically the 60s equivalent of starting a social media movement, if you will.

It may sound strange, but the goal for organizers is actually to collect less garbage each year — in that they’re hoping there will simply be less litter made by Calgarians in the future for them to pick up.

“The Pathway and River Cleanup is an important spring event. It brings thousands of people together to care for the environment, removing litter to clean our green spaces and water,” said Kirsten Pilger, Volunteer Supervisor with Calgary Parks, in a release following last year’s event.

“My hope is that we collect less waste every year as more people work to keep Calgary clean year-round.”

Volunteers are encouraged to share their experience via social media using the hashtag #YYCcleans, and some participants have even been known to show off the interesting things they picked up along the way.