Beautiful losers

Daniel MacEachern
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Clean St. John’s: new brand, new anti-litter campaign

St. John’s Clean and Beautiful is slimming down. The volunteer not-for-profit committee unveiled a new brand — “Clean St. John’s” — logo, and anti-litter campaign at city hall on Wednesday.

Going with the hashtag  #litterskeet, St. John’s Clean and Beautiful unveiled its new logo and anti-litter awareness campaign during a Wednesday morning news conference at the Foran Greene Room at St. John’s City Hall. Pictured  by one of its campaign posters, program chairwoman Michelle Eagles, speaks with reporters following the ceremony. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

“It’s just time for a new look for us,” said Michelle Eagles, committee chairwoman, at the noon event drawing board members, city council, staff and volunteers.

“Over the past year, we’ve been working hard to bring focus back to our mandate: creating a litter-free city.”

While the committee’s corporate name remains

St. John’s Clean and Beautiful, said Eagles, the group hopes the new name and logo will help be more recognizable and promotable.

“Our slogan — ‘Don’t trash our city. Pick up for it,’ which means stand up for it, protect it, support it — we think it’s great,”Eagles said.

Most of the work the group does is “reactionary” — picking up the trash people drop instead of preventing people from littering in the first place, Eagles said.

“To truly solve the problem, we need to stop litter where it starts, which is with people,” she said.

“We need to be proactive: improve attitudes about littering and stop it at the source.”

That’s where the new campaign comes in. Clean

St. John’s #litterskeet campaign features advertising which targets the people who drop small items like coffee cups, cigarette butts and juice boxes on the ground.

“Regular people, but they become the coffee cup culprit, the butt head and the juicebox bandit,” said Eagles.

“Regular, everyday people, but when you choose to litter: litterskeet. … We’re hoping that people, as you see litter, and even if you see someone littering — that guy who flicks something out his window of his car — take a picture, hashtag litterskeet, and we’ll just keep it going. I’m sure we’ll come up with some funny things in there as well, but it’s really to bring attention to the issue of litter and to people who are making that decision that’s causing a lot of our issue with litter.”

Coun. Dave Lane praised the work being done by Clean St. John’s.

“This time of year, we always see that things happen underneath the snow, and there is a lot of litter,” he said.

“A lot of it can be innocent — we drop something, or a garbage bag breaks open. But there’s also litterskeets among us, and we need to do something about that. So to have a centralized organization that works on communicating ideas, supporting projects that help to clean up and beautify our city, I think that’s a very important thing.”

Eagles said despite dropping beautiful from the name, the committee’s not giving up on beautification.

“It’s a huge part of what we do, obviously, and it is one of those things that needs to continue happening, along with youth engagement and advocacy for different programs and different policies.

While it is important, Clean St. John’s executive director Karen Hickman said the rebranding — including an overhaul of the committee’s website — and litter campaign cost about $15,000.

“We’re a non-profit organization, so that explains why we got the good rate that we got,” she said.

Twitter: @TelegramDaniel

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Recent comments

  • John Harston
    May 05, 2014 - 21:22

    I was listening to lady against litter bugs and the words were called litter skeets What is a litterskeet or skeet for that matter? I live in Texas USA I have visited Canada a few times and everything seems to be cleaner. I have been to Vancouver BC and Toronto,and everything has always nice and clean especially your parks.You Canadians were always kind and eager to help.I want you to know I appreciate it!

  • shirley
    May 02, 2014 - 08:21

    I agree with Anna. The money would have been better spent on garbage cans with lids. Why does the city persist in relying on an education program when it is obvious the education program is just not enough. At the end of day, there is still astounding amounts of litter all over this city. The city's litter program is clearly not working - something needs to change. unfortunately, the rebranding does not help with garbage that is on ground now.

  • Anna
    May 01, 2014 - 13:13

    Instead of rebranding, why didn't the committee use the $15,000 to place garbage buckets (wind proof openings) in the numerous mini malls scatthered around town? Downtown has been well looked after with containers and the Johnson Foundation does an excellent job keeping their trails clean and supplying garbage containers and emptying them on a continuous basis. But walk around any section of the city besides downtown and you won't see a container. I've said it before fine the businesses for all that litter. Fine those people travelling over the Outer Ring Road going to the Waste Management without covering their garbage, refuse to let them in if they don't have nets over the garbage. Look around our school yards, with the exception of St. Bon's I've never seen any students clean up their mess or for that matter, I have never seen any garbage containers on school property. If you want people not to litter, you have to make it easier for them to follow the rules.

  • elish
    April 30, 2014 - 22:20

    this new ad campaign is offensive poor-bashing. do you even know what "skeet" means? do you think advocating the bullying of people based on their class and/or economic status is a clever way to reduce littering? would you think it was equally hilarious to go laughing at people deemed "white trash"? what in the hell is wrong with this city? have you heard of the 21st century? we are in it. catch up.

  • Bizarre Vigilante CyberTattleBully Tactics?
    April 30, 2014 - 21:08

    It will do no more good to shame the shameless tossers than #hydroskeet would force Ed Martin to speak in anything but patronizing linguistic hopscotch. "that guy who flicks something out his window of his car — take a picture, hashtag litterskeet, and we’ll just keep it going" I'm with C. Psycho on this issue. I advise the LitterArmy to stand down. Where will it end? #whitecollarwelfareworkerswithnadingtobeatbuttattleonskeets

  • Corporate Psycho
    April 30, 2014 - 20:11

    Take pictures of people littering and post them? Sounds like a very dangerous practice to me? Not good advice.