Community cleanup a success; giant garbage puffin not so much

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Josh Pennell
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It was a new take on an old idea. In an effort to get as many people as possible out to their community cleanup, the Town of Witless Bay made a pitch for the community to build the world’s largest garbage puffin.

The volunteer cleanup team fill in the gaps of their garbage puffin in Witless Bay on Saturday. — Photo submitted by Witless Bay Mayor Sébastien Després

“We’re aiming to establish the world record for the largest puffin ever made out of garbage,” Witless Bay mayor, Sébastien Després, said on Saturday.

For those wondering, there is no current record set for the world’s largest garbage puffin, which is why the community was trying to establish that record this year.

“But we will be breaking it next year,” Després said.

The idea came about as a way to get more people out to help with the annual cleanup, organized by the local Kinsmen club. This year, the town got involved to make the cleanup that much bigger. Sixty people or so turned out to help.

“That’s really good for a community this size,” said Després.

Harold Mullowney, vice-chairman of Eastern Waste Management, said the town asked the Eastern Regional Service Board if it could offer up a waste-disposal truck for the day and it complied.

“I think they ran a little short on material to build the puffin, but that’s a good sign. If you can’t collect enough garbage in an area to make a giant puffin, it means you’re doing something right,” said Mullowney.

The team made a valiant effort to

make the giant puffin head out of garbage and did manage to get some resemblance, as long as one was willing to use their imagination.

Mullowney said community cleanups are popular in spring before tourist season begins, but they’re not popular enough.

“It’s not something that’s happening as much as it should, but nonetheless each community does try to put some sort of a cleanup effort in place.”

Després was pleased with the turnout for his community and said he could see a difference in the area the volunteers had helped to clean up.

Organizations: Eastern Waste Management, Eastern Regional Service Board

Geographic location: Witless Bay

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