ST. ANTHONY, N.L.
A St. Anthony man is doing his part to keep his town tidy and help out charitable causes — simply by cleaning up recyclables.
For the past five or six years, Chester Slade has been everywhere from St. Anthony to Boat Harbour to Eddie’s Cove to Goose Cove, scouring the roadsides for recyclables.
Through the spring, summer and fall, he travels around almost every day, filling his bag with bottles and cans littered around the road.
After thoroughly cleaning and preparing the items, he sorts and stores them in his shed. When he has enough, he takes them to the recycling depot in St. Anthony.
However, instead of keeping the proceeds for himself, he’s been donating it all to charity.
Recipients of Slade’s generosity include the Grenfell Heritage Foundation, the Operation Christmas Child shoebox program and the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre. He also plans to donate proceeds this year to the St. Anthony Fire Department.
Slade couldn’t estimate how much he’s raised the entire period he’s been collecting recyclables. But he says he’s raised about $1,400 so far this year alone.
Slade also donates the tabs he removes from the cans to the United Church, who then forward them along to a group who manufacture wheelchairs.
Even though he’s not making any money from his labours, Slade sees the rewards as threefold. Firstly, it gives him some exercise.
“It’s not a lot of hard work but it requires some twisting and turning, you’re going down through trees to try to pick up cans and bottles,” he told The Northern Pen. “And you do get a good workout.”
Secondly, he’s helping to clean up the local environment. And, thirdly, he knows the money is going towards good causes.
“You pretty well know that these people are going to use it for good,” he said. “It’s a pretty happy feeling.”
He’s also gotten assistance from others.
Slade wished to thank family, friends and whoever has given him recyclables along the way.
“One person used to leave them down on the Griquet road by the stop sign with my name on the bag,” he said. “I thought that was pretty neat.”
Even though he’s glad to help out, Slade is also glad to be seeing fewer bottles and cans littered about the area this year.
He hopes it’s a sign people are becoming more environmentally conscious, though he says there is still lots of other non-recyclable litter around.
With the snow coming, he will soon conclude his collection efforts for the year. But there’s still work to do with what’s left around his shed. Any day you can probably find Slade there, busy cleaning and sorting.