OLD PERLICAN, NL — Colleen Barrett loves taking her dog for walks in Cook's Cove, located just outside her home community of Old Perlican.
"I'm there almost every day walking my dog or just walking around," she told the Compass last week. "It's a beautiful spot."
But lately, her enjoyment of those walks has been disturbed by the presence of large amounts of garbage left there by others. Not one to leave trash on a beach, she's started filling bags with old coffee cups, bags of kitty litter, sawdust, lottery tickets, batteries, cigarettes packages and garbage that she suspects accumulated in vehicles before it was dumped.
"Every second or third day, I can easily pick up a shopping bag of recyclables down there now," Barrett said. "And it's not just in the big turnaround spot (for vehicles). It's now down to the far side of the beach."
Some garbage is finding its way into a nearby brook and the ocean.
"Sometimes people just don't care, they throw their garbage out of the car and think nothing of it. But then you have people who are bringing down fish from this year, which they never did before, and dumping it in the turnaround (spot) — not on the rocks or anywhere."
Barrett took her concerns to the town council office, but couldn't get much help there, as Cook's Cove is not technically within Old Perlican's municipal boundaries. Ideally, she would like to see a permanent garbage can in a secure structure placed by the beach or security cameras. She's also considering getting in touch with her local MHA to see if anything can be done.
"Someone needs to step up and do something," said Barrett. "I mean, I personally can't always be down there picking up after 100 people. It's just to the point now where I don't even want to walk my dog down there because there's so many fish bones and animal remains just lying around everywhere. It's taken away from the beauty of the area and it's creating smells."