LETTER: Garbage busters should crack down in schoolyard

I read with interest your article about Jodi Waters’ students who participate in the garbage busters program at Arrowview Elementary School (Qualicum Beach mayor asks students about impact of plastics, The NEWS, Feb. 22). It is an excellent initiative and I congratulate Ms. Waters for educating her students over the past decade about the environment and the need for us all to take care of it.

What I find ironic is that whenever I walk my dog in the Arrowview schoolyard in the evenings and on the weekend, I am astounded by the amount of garbage and litter on the grounds, as I have been for the past decade. Plastic food containers, empty and sometimes full zip-loc bags, candy wrappers, empty potato chip bags, decaying fruit and articles of clothing are everywhere. (Don’t the students’ parents ever wonder where their jackets and hoodies might be? One hoodie hung on the fence all of last summer.) I pick up after my dog and am grateful for all the garbage cans placed around the school. Why don’t the students use them, too?

It seems to me that as valuable a lesson as Ms. Waters’ students are learning about saving the planet, it might also be valuable to teach them to clean up their own backyard. If they don’t do that, how can they expect to clean up the planet?

I realize that picking up garbage in a schoolyard is not as much fun as painting garbage can lids or writing comments on footprints for the paths on Bennett and Fern roads. But it would definitely give a new meaning to the term garbage busters.

Lance Nater

Qualicum Beach

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