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Clean-up efforts begin with newly painted bins, plea to stop littering

by Isabel Mosseler

“Ask not what your town can do for you, ask what you can do for your town,” says Yvon Renaud, adapting a phrase from the late US President John F. Kennedy. Renaud and Gayle Primeau have decided to become community advocates, encouraging fellow citizens to pick up after themselves, and their pets, by making it next to impossible to not see the garbage cans and no littering signs in the downtown core.

On Monday, May 29th, the two, along with fellow volunteers Joan Lloy, Kyle Primeau, Roger Demontigny and Bob Webster painted the municipal garbage cans in downtown Sturgeon Falls black with bright red tops, affixing Canada 150 stickers and signage showing the penalty for not picking up after your pet. The effort came about as a result of frustration over pet owners who blatantly and offensively refuse to pick up their dog poop.

Yvon Renaud explains the initiative. “It’s Canada 150, and we thought we’d do something for it. The chief of police [Chuck Seguin] donated the Canada 150 stickers. A big issue in town is the problem with dog poop. The chief of police decided that he was going to make efforts to enforce the bylaws – the fine is $250 but we’re trying to get it increased to $500 so people know we’re serious.”

Renaud and Primeau decided to step up to the plate and get the town clean. Primeau says it began when Renaud “did one of the garbage cans and brought it before council” to get the town on board.

Renaud says when he took it upon himself to paint the garbage can in front of his business, his effort was noticed. Now, he wants all the bins to get noticed. “We’re doing these ones bright red, and there’s a reason: so no one can say they didn’t see it! There’s going to be a Canada 150 logo, and on the back there will be the police logo for the clean up after your pet.”

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This Monday past several volunteers got together at the municipal parking lot on Queen Street, Sturgeon Falls, to paint the downtown garbage bins with red tops. The bins will sport both the Canada 150 logo and warnings to people to pick up after their pets.