|local school kids in search of trash on the streets ofROATAN|
|volunteers getting to those hard to get mangroves viaTUGBOAT|
|it wasn't just on land, the cleanup was alsoUNDERWATER|
Just like most first time events, the organizers initially had a hard time getting people involved and literally had to knock on doors of major businesses, decision makers, NGOs, and community leaders to sell the idea and to get them to join the cleanup. They could either help by donating materials such as gloves and plastic bags, logistics such as trucks and boats to haul the garbage bags to specific pickup points and subsequently to the municipal dumpster, and/or volunteers for the much needed manpower. The response was so impressive the first time around that the event is now being held twice a year (June and October), with plans to make it a once a month venture. Furthermore, for the first cleanup of 2013 which took place this past June, the organizers decided to give the event a little twist by turning it into a two day outing, with one day geared towards local school kids and another day left for the communities, churches, businesses, expats and tourists to do their part. Another reason why this second event was such a great success story can be attributed to the availability of extra hands which allowed for the cleanup to be expanded to cover new sites, including some hard to get mangroves and cays located in the south side of Roatan which had never been cleaned in years. Overall, between the three islands combined, the 2,000 plus volunteers collected close to 265 full truckloads of garbage: clearly an incredible accomplishment.
|trash, trash, and moreTRASH!|
on tourism for their livelihoods. The municipality in particular has also been very receptive and began contemplating a series of actions to be implemented, such as applying fines to those owners of abandoned property lots who are not keeping them clean, as well as fines for pedestrians or car drivers who throw litter out on the streets, both linked to laws which already exist but which have not been followed through and enforced. There are also plans in the making to have an “adopt a beach-front program” as a way to encourage businesses to make a piece of land their own and keep the premises litter-free. There is also talk of a much anticipated action-plan to completely revamp the use of the municipal dumpster and have it running as a properly designed and well managed landfill.
|trash collection awareness starts with theFUTURE=KIDS!|
|theAFTERphoto of a section inBRICK BAY, ROATAN,where strong currents usually build up trash in large quantities|