wawmeesh g. hamilton/for metro vancouver
A small confrontation allegedly erupted between some strike supporters and volunteers who helped clean up following Wednesday night’s fireworks display.
Keith Coulter, operations manager with the You-can-help program, a Salvation Army program that collects recyclables, said he witnessed volunteers being harassed as they picked up trash.
The volunteers, however, have taken it in stride.
Even with the strike, fears that a mountain of garbage would be left by fireworks revellers never materialized. Instead, residents awoke to find a near squeaky-clean beach.
The volunteers, which included members of the Salvation Army, responded to a plea by fireworks’ sponsor HSBC.
“We asked people to pick up after themselves and they really took the message to heart,” said Alicia Maluta, HSBC Celebration of Light general manager. “They understand their contribution makes a difference, even in the present circumstance (strike).”
A mound of garbage that could fit into a plastic grocery bag amid a stack of logs was the only clue that 250,000 people watched the first of four fireworks displays the night before.
In spite of this, some beach goers were surprised how the beaches looked cleaner than after fireworks celebrations in previous years.
“It’s unnaturally clean, almost too clean,” said Andrea Peter, 27, who was taking in some sun on her day off.
“This is everyone’s backyard,“ she said. “People cleaned it up because they wanted to, not because it was a job.”
Vancouver Police Department reports