Dozens of Kodiak residents pick up over 3,600 pounds of garbage for Earth Day

Kodiak Kindness, a local nonprofit, hosted its biggest trash cleanup yet for Earth Day on Saturday.

Heather Preece is the executive director of Kodiak Kindness. She said 66 folks came to pick up trash along the road between Mill Bay and White Sands beaches.

The group of volunteers who came to clean as much garbage as possible for the event, April 22, 2023. (Sarah Ann Photography via Kodiak Kindness)

“In three hours, oh my gosh, it was like more than 1000 pounds of trash an hour and we took 3660 pounds of trash to the landfill on Saturday and 12 truckloads,” she said. 

That was more than the previous two years combined. Volunteers gathered about 2100 pounds of trash in 2021, and only 800 more in 2022.

The nonprofit usually focuses on supporting young families with newborns and educating new parents. But in the last few years, they’ve begun hosting a spring trash pick-up event. Preece says the idea is to create a cleaner environment for kids to grow up in.

The event is usually sponsored by Matson, which pays for necessities like landfill fees, bags, and vests. This year, the shipping company was joined by other businesses that wanted to donate to Kodiak Kindness and send volunteers. 

North Sister Mountain, seen from White Sands Beach, one of beaches volunteers cleaned, April 24, 2023. (Brian Venua/KMXT)

“All week I was thinking ‘Is this snow gonna melt so we can see the trash we need to pick up?’ But Saturday was so beautiful and we had great, great weather,” Preece said. 

Preece said they were even able to pick up large debris with heavy equipment. She says one of her favorite things to see at this year’s clean-up was a large magnet that Matson brought. 

“You just drag them along the beach and they suck up all the nails from pallet fires on the beach so kids and dogs that are out picnicking, they don’t step on a nail,” Preece said.

But despite all the fun, Preece says there is still more work to do. 

“We just kind of had to stop because it was four o’clock and the landfill was closed,” she said. 

Preece said the success of this year’s event is already inspiring her to keep growing it next year. 

 

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