What started as a post about litter on the Grant Street (see here), ended up with a Buffalo Rising reader by the name of Sarah F. wondering if she could help to organize a litter cleanup on West Ferry, between Niagara and Richmond (see here).
After posting a shout out on Buffalo Rising, nine volunteers met earlier today to tackle the mess on West Ferry, emanating one block east from the corner of Grant Street. We met over at Albert’s Café for coffee at 10am, before embarking upon the cleanup.
I’ve been involved with a lot of cleanups over the years, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Over the course of a couple of blocks, we accumulated upwards of ten garbage bags of litter.
It was disgusting. The biggest concentration of litter was found near the corner of West Ferry and Parkdale Avenue, which happens to be on the doorstep of La Nova Pizzeria. The litter, debris, and trash was as far as the eye could see, along the street, in the bushes, on the sidewalks, piled up along fences… the group of volunteers didn’t get much past this corner because there was litter on top of litter.
While we did find a ton of discarded La Nova single slice pizza boxes, and napkins, cups, etc., there was also candy wrappers, empty cigarette packs, lottery cards… you name it and it was there.
After the cleanup, we all met back up at Albert’s for a beer, to discuss the filth that we had just encountered. It was decided right then and there that we wanted to start a group called Trash Talkers, so that we could continue to meet up and clean up various neighborhoods throughout the city. We also talked about ways to combat the issues of litter. For example, someone talked about the need for more garbage cans at street corners along West Ferry. We all knew darn well that the litterbugs would be back at it soon enough. The idea of getting local high schools involved with cleanup efforts was also discussed. If we can teach young people at an early age not to litter, then maybe that would help to curb the problem.
We’re not here to cast blame on anyone for the litter problem. We’re here to help clean up, while identifying ways that we can help solve the issue. Whether that’s organizing neighborhood cleanups, getting garbage cans out on the street, or educating the public, there are ways that we can be proactive. Heck, we might even plant some flowers.
For anyone interested, we’ve started a Facebook group, where people can Talk Trash. It’s the best way to coordinate future cleanups, learn about which neighborhoods need to be cleaned up, and form an online community dedicated to keeping Buffalo clean.