© Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass
Officials with the Town of Bay Roberts have started a litter campaign designed at making residents think about why they litter. Here, Coun. Walter Yetman (left) and economic development officer Ron Delaney stand next to one of the signs that have been placed around town.
Resident and visitors have no doubt noticed the small green signs that began popping up around the Town of Roberts in the last couple of weeks.
The signs adorn various utility poles around the community and pose a simple question in large, white letters.
"Why Litter" at the top and a question mark underneath.
It is a different approach to what other anti-littering campaigns have done, as it moves away from the big signs that focus on the ramifications of littering and the effects it has on the community as a whole.
"The campaign is designed to create an awareness for the need to not litter by asking the simple question, 'why litter?'" said Coun. Walter Yetman.
It aims to challenge a person to think about why they are littering in the first place.
"We wanted to look at getting a message out there," said Bay Roberts economic development officer Ron Delaney.
Delaney said when the green committee was coming up with the idea for an anti-littering campaign, it wanted to make people think.
"Sometimes the best way to make people think is to ask a question," he said.
The option was there for the town to go big with its campaign, but Bay Roberts went small, looking to direct its attention to the individual rather than the group.
"We want to hit the person dead-on," said Delaney.
For someone who questions whether Bay Roberts needs a recycling awareness campaign, they need but to look to various problem areas around the town.
An example of a problem area is the parking lot around the Bay Arena on the Conception Bay Highway.
Routinely, the pavement is covered in a layer of fast food bags and food containers. It gets cleaned one day, only for the cycle to repeat itself regularly.
Yetman recognizes that the "why litter" campaign is a small venture by the town.
"You have to tackle the problem. You have to start somewhere," he said.
Yetman hopes the campaign will force residents to think about the why they may be throwing that piece of waste out their car window, or dumping that empty bag of food on the sidewalk.
"The most important thing is why litter, and then you think about the consequences," he said. "You're throwing it out, so where does it go from there?
"Someone has to clean it up. Someone's time is taken up because you want to throw your garbage on the parking lot."
Right now, the program is limited to Bay Roberts, but both Yetman and Delaney would like to see it expand to include other communities in the region.
"There is no such thing as a border to litter," said Delaney.
"We, certainly, don't mind if someone jumps on and takes it," added Yetman. "We just want to put a positive spin on this and get people thinking."