SAR Rescues Elphinstone Clean-Up

A huge thanks to Search and Rescue volunteers who stepped in to help with the Elphinstone Beach Clean-Up. This project was organized early this spring by volunteers from the Elphinstone Community Association (ECA) in response to the large amount of garbage, especially styrofoam, washing up on our beaches. Totes were placed along the beach between Secret Beach and Chaster House, and filled by community volunteers.

The original plan was to lift the totes off the beach by barge, but a simply fiendish series of events (from bad weather to barge mishaps) intervened. With winter approaching, it was suggested that Airspan could lift the totes. We just needed suitably trained volunteers and that’s where SAR came in.

On October 5, SAR volunteers spread out along the beach and hooked up bags to a waiting helicopter. The helicopter flew the bags over to Dolphin Marine’s waiting barge, which then headed for Gibsons Harbour.

A good portion of the styrofoam will be re-used by Dolphin in their barges, and tires are being taken for disposal by Gibsons Building Supply. The remaining totes were transported by Coast Bins and sorted by volunteers in the District of Sechelt Works yard before the contents were taken to the appropriate areas of our landfill. (See more photos below.)

It’s been a huge community effort. Special thanks to Ron Neilson and Gord Bishop of the ECA and SCRD staff including our new Manager of Protective Services, Matt Treit, and Robyn Cooper, Manager of Solid Waste.

Photos courtesy of myself and Gayle Neilson.

Volunteers sorted the contents of the totes at the Sechelt Public Works Yard. That’s Ben Foster with some of the metal cable.

There were two trailer loads of metal. That’s Ron Neilson, President of the Elphinstone Community Assn. with his trailer.

District of Sechelt Councillor Matt McLean lent a hand.

Towards the end Gord Bishop directed operations from the dumpster.

The garbage included large quantities of styrofoam and tires from docks and floats, a great deal of plastic, cans, bottles, shoes, and…  YES, we actually found the kitchen sink.

Elphinstone garbage sorting crew: Clint Budd, Gord Bishop, Trent Farrell, Ben Foster, Donna McMahon, Ron Neilson in front of some of the styrofoam.


Posted by Donna