Students take out the trash on the Canadian shoreline

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Vancouver campus students and volunteers comb the shoreline to remove trash and debris from local waterways. (Photos by Ciara Hamagishi)
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Volunteers Lilian Bandeira of Brazil, Luis Pe De León of Guatemala, Carlos Martell of El Salvador and Monica Fan Yi of China take a break from trash detail. Below, a tally sheet shows which items the Vancouver volunteers found on the shoreline. Ew!
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By Kenna Caprio

Volunteering at the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup for the eighth year in a row, 103 Fairleigh Dickinson University Vancouver Campus students picked up and removed more than 180 pounds of garbage. Phew! That’s roughly the weight of a newborn beluga whale!

This year, Vancouver students removed a whopping 5,555 cigarettes and cigarette filters from the shoreline at False Creek, near Science World and Olympic Village in British Columbia. Other interesting litter that the volunteers collected includes: socks, pants, shirts and a boat chain.

“This event really makes me think of the difference we can make in my home country of El Salvador,” says Camilla Castro, a senior studying business administration.

“I found the cleanup to be a rewarding activity. The weather was fantastic and I really enjoyed volunteering with my friends,” adds Daniel Assumpcao, a junior business administration major, originally from Brazil.

For this cleanup, the campus partnered with Science World at Telus World of Science, a nonprofit science center which hosts permanent interactive exhibits and displays.

“Science World and the City of Vancouver provided us with all of the required cleanup materials including garbage bags, gloves and garbage pickers,” says Jobin Mojtabavi, director of student services at the Vancouver Campus. “We look forward to developing this partnership with future cleanups.”

Each item found and removed during the clean up must be catalogued on a data card, all of which are then returned to the Vancouver Aquarium (which houses beluga whales!) for tallying and analysis. Information on the data cards helps identify the pollutants in the waterways and determine which waterways are the most and least polluted.