Step it up Thunder Bay – Clean up our City!

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THUNDER BAY – Do not let today’s clouds, or forecast get you down. It is time to get Thunder Bay tidied up for summer. It all began with one young girl’s dismay at the amount of garbage in city parks, and 14 years later, Spring Up to Clean Up continues to attract participation from thousands of Thunder Bay residents. Since 1996, the City of Thunder Bay has sponsored an annual, community-wide clean up in partnership with EcoSuperior.

Spring Up volunteers are very proud of our City,” said EcoSuperior’s project coordinator Karen Copeland. “Close to 11,000 participants picked up trash from over 250 neighbourhoods, roadsides, school yards, parks and recreation trails last year. We already have over 9,500 people registered for this year, with new groups signing on daily. This is a great example of the power of many individuals making a big difference because they care about their home and their environment.”

To kick off Spring Up this year, over 100 businesses and offices are going to take part in Thunder Bay’s third annual Spring Up to Clean Up 20-Minute Makeover for workplaces today at 10 am.

Staff and management at workplaces all over town stepped outside for 20 minutes to clean up litter from around their neighbourhoods, while some have taken a rain check for next week.

At the main launch event at the newly renovated City Hall, there will be speeches by Councillor Andrew Foulds, Jason Sherband (City of Thunder Bay, Solid Waste Diversion and Recycling Coordinator), and Karen Copeland (EcoSuperior).

At 10 o’clock, the 20-Minute Makeover will be kicked off with music by local flamenco guitarists Matt Sellick and Jon Reid.

Spring Up to Clean Up includes two new programs this year. One is Thunder Bay’s first community-wide yard sale on Saturday, May 1st (rain date May 2nd). Registered yard sales are listed at www.ecosuperior.org. This is a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle! The second event is Community Clean-Up Week-End (May 1 and 2), where all residents are encouraged to clean up litter and debris from around their homes.  This is just in time for curbside leaf and yard waste pick-up (May 4-18), and free tipping week at the City of Thunder Bay Waste & Recycling Facility from May 2 – 9. With everyone pitching in around their homes and workplaces, Thunder Bay gets a real makeover.

“According to Keep America Beautiful reports, the presence of litter in a community indicates a lack of pride and has been shown to lower property values and discourage new business investment and tourism,”  says Copeland. “People who litter are doing a lot more damage than they might realize. We hope we can reach them through on-going litter prevention initiatives, but in the meantime we are so grateful for the efforts of Spring Up participants.”

It’s not too late to register your group for Spring Up to Clean Up. Participants receive free garbage and recycling bags, prizes and public recognition. Sign up on-line at www.ecosuperior.org, or contact Karen at 624-2148.

Contact: Karen Copeland, Program Coordinator for Spring Up to Clean Up 2010 624-2148 or karen@ecosuperior.org

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