Clayton Park West MLA issues challenge to curb littering, raise awareness

Armed with a garbage picker and trash bag, Clayton Park West MLA Rafah DiCostanzo scours along Langbrae Drive in Halifax looking for trash.

There’s plenty of debris lining the boulevard, from coffee cups and candy wrappers to cigarette butts and fast-food restaurants bags.

After 10 minutes of cleaning up, the politician has nearly half a bag full of trash.

“It’s literally everywhere,” said DiCostanzo.

It was back in January when a constituent came to visit DiCostanzo at her office with complaints about trash on the streets being a problem that inspired the MLA to do something about it.

He also had a list of recommendations to curb the litter problem, with ideas around policing and enforcement, to implementing stiffer penalties and fines.

For DiConstanzo it shed light on the issue. But she had another idea on how they could combat the problem. For her, it was to lead by example, so she volunteered and joined school groups to be part of their cleanup campaigns.

“We will talk to people, we will get people involved,” said DiCostanzo.

“It’s about awareness and getting the conversation going to stop littering. It’s about educating. This is just like our home, we don’t throw garbage in our house–the community is like our larger home,” she added.

The MLA has issued a challenge to make Clayton Park West the cleanest riding in Nova Scotia.

“Clayton Park West is the most dense and the most diverse (riding), and it can be the most clean riding,” she said.

On Saturday starting at 1 p.m. DiConstanzo is inviting the public to meet at Sobeys on Lacewood Drive for the sixth annual community clean up, where bags and garbage pickers will be provided.

DiCostanzo is also looking to set up a litter committee to meet and help address the issue and curb the problem.

She said they would meet to discuss options to raise awareness and keep litter off the streets.

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