Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

He's had enough of this garbage

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Tom Ethans, executive director of Take Pride Winnipeg, wants to see this ugly litter gone.

CRYSTAL SCHICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Tom Ethans, executive director of Take Pride Winnipeg, wants to see this ugly litter gone. Photo Store

The wait for the annual spring melt has meant a delay in the annual spring cleaning.

This reality is not stopping Take Pride Winnipeg! and Recycle Everywhere from launching a program designed to help clean up Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba, though. The project, called Easy as 1-2-3, enlists Manitoba students to lend a hand with the community cleaning by scouring the streets, sidewalks, ditches and playgrounds for trash that shows up once the snow disappears.

"If I could get 5,000 kids to pick up just three pieces of litter a day for a month and a half, that would be 705,000 pieces of litter picked up off the ground," said Tom Ethans, executive director of the not-for-profit Take Pride Winnipeg!

"That would make a pretty big difference in our communities."

The initiative works like this: Starting later this month to the end of May, a student picks up just three pieces of litter a day, records it in a journal, and properly disposes of it in a garbage bin or recycling container.

The student (or classroom, depending on the registration) is then entered for a draw in June, with prizes including tickets to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Winnipeg Goldeyes games, along with passes to the Manitoba Children's Museum, Fort Whyte Alive and the Assiniboine Park Zoo. On top of those, two students -- one from Winnipeg and one outside the city -- will each win a trip for two for a four-day stay at Disney World.

Registration started last week and like the arrival of spring, things are moving a little slow. Currently, Ethans has only six to seven classrooms and about 50 individual students signed up to participate. Things will pick up next week once classes resume after spring break, he said.

"(Five thousand) is a big number, but I'm positive we can get there," Ethans said. "We're hoping teachers consider this as a class project."

The program is open to all Manitoba students 18 and younger. For more information visit the Take Pride Winnipeg! website (takepride.mb.ca) or call 204-956-7590.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 4, 2014 B2

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