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Both Orillia and Severn will be hosting community pitch-in events

Andrew Philips

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network

(File photo)

(File photo)

It truly remains one of those great Canadian mysteries.

How is one able to walk along a trail with a hot cup of takeout coffee that becomes too heavy and needs to be dropped immediately once empty?

That specific littering mystery might never be solved, but a group of concerned area residents will do their part starting this weekend to pick up the detritus left along the region's roadsides and public spaces by those who likely should know better.

On Saturday, Orillia holds its annual cleanup day as part of Pitch-In Week, a national campaign to clean up the environment that runs from April 22 to 29.

"This year, it seems like we're going to get good weather so we're hoping for at least 100 people to help out," said Bob Bowles, a local naturalist who's also on the city's environmental advisory committee.

"We've had as many as 250 (volunteers) to as few as 20."

Bowles said those looking to help out this time around can meet at Veterans' Memorial Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. with volunteers then dispatched to various locations throughout the city for a three-hour cleanup with everyone eventually returning to the starting point for pizza.

"We'll have coffee, Timbits and hot chocolate for the kids. We'll also be giving out (reusable) water bottles and coffee mugs," he added.

Bowles said participating in the event shows real environmental leadership and also instills pride in the community's natural beauty.

"By picking up garbage and litter in public places, we all become more aware of what's being thrown away and have a better understanding of the consequences of littering," he said.

Severn Township is also having a special community clean-up event next Saturday at Fairgrounds Road. Beginning at 9 a.m., "neighbours and friends of the Earth" can meet at the roller rink to get specially-marked bags, gloves and high-visibility traffic vest to help pick up garbage and recyclables strewn along roadways, trails, parks and shoreline.

Severn is supporting this initiative by picking up trash placed in the specially-marked bags and trucking it away on the municipality's normal garbage day. Residents can also pick up the bags and tags at township offices on Hurlwood Lane.

Last year, more than 1.5 million volunteers participated in various environmental clean-ups and other events in more than 750 Canadian communities.

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