When it comes to having a sense of pride in the way their community looks, Sylvan Lake citizens would rank high according to, John Watson, Town of Sylvan Lake Public Works Manager.
Watson has organized the Town’s annual Pitch In Week for the past 35 years stating he has watched the event grow to become an inspirational community initiative.
Pitch In Week is an annual national initiative, which takes place in over 6,000 communities across Canada with the local event taking place from May 1-7.
The main component of Pitch In Week that never ceases to wow Watson is the community clean up, where residents can register to clean their neighbourhood or a specific area of Town.
“Aside from the obvious improvement to the aesthetics of the town, it also brings community groups together and gives them a sense of community pride in their neighbourhoods and in their parks and roadways,” he explained. “For some families and church groups, this is how they will spend their Sunday afternoon – bonding. Then there are always the individual citizens who just like to help out around town,”
“I think most, if not all of us, take pride in our community and the way it looks and presents itself.”
Residents or groups can call the Public Works department in advance and register the area they plan to clean to avoid duplication of litter collection. Public works will drop off bags at the location requested as well as traffic vests if requested. In addition, Public Works will also collect the bags at a predetermined time and provide beverages and snacks to participants.
During Pitch In Week, the Public Works department will also be offering free tree branch drop off at the Waste Transfer Facility from Monday, May 2 to Saturday, May 7.
“It just gives those residents a chance to drop off tree branches which aren’t normally collecting in the compost or yard waste programs,” said Watson, adding there is usually a fee associated with dropping off tree branches at the facility, however during Pitch In Week, it is free.
Public Works will also be offering the Large Item Pick Up Program (LIUP) during Pitch In Week.
“LIPU is a program we’ve been running forever or at least 25 years, “ said Watson. “Twice a year Public Works will at, at no charge to residents, pick up items that are oversized, cumbersome and awkward to get to a proper waste transfer facility,”
“Each resident may put out up to three items for collection on May 3 4 5 and preregistration is required and the Town will dispose of those items in an environmentally responsible way.”
Residents should be aware of the Kick It To The Curb initiative, which takes place in August. Residents should consider the idea that although the item they wish to have picked up some one else may find use for it to avoid it going to the landfill.
During Kick It To The Curb residents are able to place items on their lawn with a ‘free’ sign and any one who wishes to take the item may then do so.
During the year, many of these large items also end up at the ‘Drop and Swap’ area of the Waste Transfer Facility. The two tents located on the site allow individuals to drop off any unwanted items,including electronics, and may also pick up any items available at the site.
Watson added the Drop and Swap is a very popular option for residents stating at any given time during their regular hours of operation there could be as many as five people at the site at once.
The Town of Sylvan Lake’s Waste Transfer Facility collects resident’s waste before transporting their collection to the Red Deer Waste Management Facility. Any items diverted from theTown’s facility are then differed from the landfill in Red Deer and in turn helps to reduce harmful greenhouse gases emitted during item decomposition.
For more ideas on how to take steps to lower the amount of waste your household creates see the Town of Sylvan Lake’s ‘Green Program Guide’ recently mailed to residents and also available on theTown’s website at www.sylvanlake.ca/uploads/Go_Green_2016.pdf
For more information or to register to help clean an area of Sylvan Lake contact Public Works at 403 887 2800.