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Debris around Holyrood being cleaned up, mayor says

Insulation on the beach and other parts of Holyrood is concerning some residents. The mayor said it will be cleaned up soon and they are still recovering from the damage caused by the snowstorms in February.
Insulation on the beach and other parts of Holyrood is concerning some residents. The mayor said it will be cleaned up soon and they are still recovering from the damage caused by the snowstorms in January. - Evan Careen/SaltWire Network

Unsightly insulation in parts of Holyrood will be cleaned up soon, according to the mayor, and is part of the debris that was left on the coastline after the major snowstorm that hit the province in January.

“The stuff that washed up, it was deplorable to see, I can’t emphasize it enough,” Mayor Gary Goobie said. “It’s a nuisance, it looks bad, but no worse than the pile of tampons and God only knows what else that washed up on the beach.”

Goobie said all the beaches in the area were hit hard by the storms earlier this year, and Holyrood almost lost the boardwalk and the beach. It wasn’t until the last few weeks that enough snow melted and allowed people to see how bad it really was, he said, and the town is doing something about it.

“Now that we’ve been able to get to it we’re out there cleaning that, and all the other stuff that washed in, up. We won’t stop until the area is cleaned up to the satisfaction of the town and its residents.”

Barry Hynes, a resident in the area, said he’s concerned about the insulation, and how it blows around when there’s a storm, and there may be an environmental issue.

“It’s all over the place out here. It’s on the beach, up in the woods,” he said. “It’s in places you wouldn’t even believe.”

Hynes said some local children have been calling it "moon cheese," and he has concerns about the environmental impact of it, not just the esthetic one.

“That stuff has blown out into the bay, all over town, God only knows where else it’s gone,” he said.

The insulation is believed to have come from an old fish plant that was demolished in the area in recent years, and Goobie said they haven’t been made aware of any environmental concern about it.

“I would think the province would contact us if there was an issue with it,” he said. “They oversaw the building being demolished and it had to follow their guidelines then. To my knowledge, we have not been made aware of any environmental concern from this. We’d be on that in a heartbeat.”

Goobie says they understand that residents and others use the boardwalk, beach and trails a lot and it’s important to the town to keep it clean. With the snowstorms in January and February, a few water main breaks and now the COVID-19 pandemic, Goobie said they may have been slowed down a bit, but assured again it will all be cleaned up.

“It’s not like we’ve turned our back on it and ignored it,” he said. “We don’t want to see dirt and debris around, either. We’ve been working to have that cleaned up as quickly as possible and will continue to clean it up until it's done, but we do need residents to have some patience.”

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