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Community : Grand Bahama Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

(Video) "Pick up or Shut up" community clean-up in Grand Bahama
By The Bahamas Weekly News Team
Apr 20, 2012 - 2:54:47 PM

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Freeport, Bahamas - Bush fires are prevalent in Grand Bahama, and after one burns itself out, the usual sight, aside from the charred shrubbery and pine trees is an abundance of trash, mainly bottles which have been tossed from vehicles traveling down the roads.

A concerned citizen, Cathy MacLeay has taken the initiative to do something about it, and along with her own two children and a couple of their friends went out on Sunrise Highway donned with gloves one Saturday to pick up the trash. That first time they picked up 40 feet of bags of trash. This attracted the attention of those passing by, and word got out, and the following week the small group grew exponentially as a crew of divers from UNEXSO joined the force along with other residents and friends.

When asked why she started the pickup, MacLeay said, "We can't ask or wait or hope that someone else will do it for us. We are taking responsibility and doing it ourselves".

The crew of "Pick up or Shut up"with organizer Cathy MacLeay (standing 3rd from right), her children, UNEXSO divers, and concerned citizens and friends on Saturday, April 14th, 2012 along Sunrise Highway in Grand Bahama Island. The initiative continues this Saturday at 9am, but the public is encouraged to do their part any day or in any area. Photo: Mackey Media Ltd / TheBahamasWeekly.com

In this video you will hear from some of the children helping out, and from Cristina Zenato, world renowned shark handler who said, "We found whole dumpsters along the roads...televisions, cell phones, Styrofoam... and when they burn, they actually create pollutants and dangerous chemicals that then go into the soil, the water and the air...it becomes extremely dangerous for the environment," said Zenato.

Also helping was Grand Bahamian, Daniel Waugh who said, "I think people need to start cleaning up after themselves and not throwing things out of the cars... tourists drive past here going out to the caves and east end and what do they see?  Glass bottles, cans, garbage everywhere..." Waugh is concerned that the tourists will think, "If the Bahamians are not taking care of their own country, why should we?"

Macleay said that they will continue to go out to pickup until the grass grows over. The team starts at 9am each Saturday. If you want to join in be sure to wear gloves for safety and bring boxes to place the refuse in.


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