THOUSANDS of people yesterday filled up plastic bin bags with rubbish as part of ‘Let’s Do it Cyprus’ clean-up campaign.
The main goal was to get the country clean in one day, as part of a global campaign spanning about 100 countries that Cyprus joined for the first time yesterday.
Among participants were the Green party whose deputy, George Perdikis, could be near the old Nicosia general hospital cleaning up the banks of the seasonal river Pedieos. “It’s a gorgeous corner of the capital but it’s full or rubbish which shows this country needs a culture to nourish the environment… and there’s a lot for us to do,” Perdikis said.
The Interior Minister Eleni Mavrou and other officials also took part in the clean up.
Over 130 registered groups expressed interest in advance and were allocated bits of the island in need of attention, while a dedicated website letsdoitcyprus.org identified spots to clean and actions to be taken.
By 1pm, about 3,000 people reported back to the project’s co-ordinators although many others joined spontaneously without registering beforehand, said Environment Commissioner Charalambos Theopemptou.
“People called in to say they were shocked by the state of our countryside. They said they hadn’t realised it was that bad,” Theopemptou said, referring to the state of isolated spots, where rubbish has been allowed to accumulate over years.
And what was found was recycled as much as possible.
Cans were separated for charity Cans for Kids, while PMD packages were taken to bins placed by recycling company Green Dot.
Electronic devices were taken to designated spots for WEEE electronic appliances’ recycling bins.
Companies also provided vans to help people move bigger objects.
Old car tyres and batteries were also collected to be disposed of properly.
As the day progressed, people started uploading pictures on Facebook.
One example is that of Dasoudi beach in Yermasoyia where old buckets, plastic and food wraps polluted the beach and its surroundings up until volunteers cleaned up.
The campaign, Let’s Do it World, was launched in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 volunteers clean up 10,000 tonnes of waste in a single day.