What one Saskatchewan man is doing about garbage — and what lessons it has for Regina

Picking up litter costs the City of Regina $200,000 a year. Global News

Kamao Cappo is from Muscowpetung First Nation, about an hour north of Regina, and travels the highway often.

When he sees garbage lining the ditches, it makes him feel sick.

So it was natural for Cappo to start carrying garbage bags in his truck — when he see a mess, he pulls over and cleans it up.

“When you do pick up garbage, you think this is futile… It just takes a few minutes to stop and pick up some garbage, and carry on,” Cappo said.

It’s a never-ending task, but Cappo hopes to lead by example and eventually see more hands picking up litter. He already gets help from his son and a local youth group.

READ MORE: Saskatoon resident angered by illegal dumping in back alley

“Indigenous people have this connection to Mother Earth, and we should be doing something to clean it up… So I made a challenge to [indigenous people] to basically walk our talk, and just get out there and start,” Cappo said.
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He’s also issued the challenge via his Facebook page.

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Garbage doesn’t only litter the highways, it builds up in the city of Regina too. It’s a big job for city workers to keep up with.

“It’s mostly on the Ring Road — we have individuals hauling their spring cleanup from the yard to the landfill and the route to the landfill is probably the dirtiest in the city,” said Ray Morgan, the City of Regina’s Parks and Open Space director.

The cost of city workers cleaning up up litter is over $200,000 each year.

“I think all littering is preventable — all people have a choice; our choice would be that people take their litter home and dispose of it properly,” Morgan said. “Then that way we are not spending a lot of time and resources collecting litter ourselves.”

“We [could] spend that time repairing benches, painting and doing playground inspections in the parks.”

As for Cappo, he knows garbage cleanup is not glamorous work, but he hopes his efforts will make a difference and get people on board with keeping the province clean.

“When they drive by, people won’t know that it was once dirty, but they won’t have that ugly feeling that you would have [had] from seeing all that garbage,” Cappo said.
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