Record turnout expected for cleanup

Chamber of Commerce staff get ready for Saturday’s Earth Day cleanup. Front row, Trisha Meyerhoff and Wil Pineau, with, back row, Nikita Durrant and Ross Taylor. - PHOTO: JAMES WHITTAKER
Chamber of Commerce staff get ready for Saturday’s Earth Day cleanup. Front row,
Trisha Meyerhoff and Wil Pineau, with,
back row, Nikita Durrant and Ross Taylor.
– PHOTO: JAMES WHITTAKER

A 1,500-strong army of volunteers is preparing to take to the beaches for the annual Earth Day clean-up on Saturday.

Coordinated teams will hit every corner of the Cayman Islands, clearing trash and plastics from streets and beaches.

“We are delighted that everyone has responded and risen to the challenge. It looks like we will have the most volunteers we have ever had,” said Wil Pineau, chief executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Pineau was involved in the first Earth Day cleanup 20 years ago, which attracted around 250 people.

“It has really mushroomed into a very substantial cleanup,” he said.

“At the time we started, people were just starting to become aware of the issues with plastic bags and separating and recycling waste. We have come a long way since then in terms of awareness.”

Over the years, he said, the amount of litter collected was going down.

“The message is really getting through. I think there is a real commitment from the community to keep the environment clean. People take pride in that.”

From a business perspective too, he said, a clean and pristine natural environment was a key selling point for Cayman’s tourism industry.

“One of the first things visitors notice when they come here is how clean the island is,” he pointed out.

The cleanup takes place from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Working in groups, volunteers will be assigned specific areas to cover. Garbage bags and latex gloves are available for pick-up at the Chamber visitor center in Governors Square.

The cleanup will be followed by a brunch and fun day at Public Beach on Seven Mile Beach.

Anyone who wants to participate can contact Nikita at the Chamber of Commerce on [email protected] or on 743-9121.

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