From the Daily News - Halifax, Nova Scotia

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

Nova Scotia's cleaner

This summer's beach sweep found less trash than usual

By KATY PARSONS -- Special to The Daily News

Volunteers cleaning up the province's beaches this summer found fewer paper products and bottles than they had in the past 11 years.

Meinhard Doelle, executive director of Clean Nova Scotia, attributed this improvement partly to the province's solid-waste program.

"The solid-waste management strategy in Nova Scotia is more successful than any other province in Canada," he said yesterday.

But the 1999 Moosehead Maritimes Beach Sweep and litter survey, whose results were released yesterday, reported 40 per cent of Nova Scotia's municipal sewage in urban areas goes untreated.

In the Halifax Regional Municipality, McNab's Island is a prime waste target.

Cathy McCarthy has been taking part in beach sweeps on McNab's since 1991.

"We're supposed to be Canada's Ocean Playground. That's what it says on our licence plates," she said.

But the island has plenty of flushed waste and litter washed up by the tides.

The Halifax Harbour solutions project should prevent waste from contaminating beaches, said project spokes-man Brent McCombs. He said its four planned sewage treatment plants - two in Halifax, one in Dartmouth and one near Herring Cove - will replace more than 40 sewage outputs around the harbour, and reduce the municipality's waste.

Doelle said 9,200 volunteers collected 55 tonnes of debris from more than 150 shorelines in Atlantic Canada this year.

He said plastic items such as rope, food bags and lids were the most common types of garbage found.

More unusual trash included an outboard motor, a tent with poles, and a baby walker.