You’re the Solution to Less Pollution

August 27th BBQ and Paint by Numbers Event

A great way to revive community spirit! On August 27th, Brampton Environmental Alliance (BEA) set up a ‘Paint by Numbers’ station for the community of Knightsbridge to paint anti-litter art on waste bins.

Saptha (left) and Sima Naseem (right) are ready to facilitate the ‘Paint by Numbers’ activity at BEA’s station

The BEA event was part of a ‘Back 2 School BBQ’ event organised by Families of Virtue in support of the community. There was plenty of food and vendor displays along with games and activities for children and families. It was lively and fun!

The BEA also held its in-person public/member meeting as part of the day’s activities. Thanks to BEA members, P.A.L. (People Against Littering), Sierra Club, and Human Impact Environment whose volunteers helped out at the event! 

Sierra Club’s Rosemary Keenan sets up waste sorting game.

The ‘Paint by Numbers’ activity is a component of the anti-litter waste education campaign “You’re the Solution to Less Pollution. (See blog post by David Laing on August 10th). Saptha, the BEA student intern and project coordinator, used this event to engage the community and communicate about litter and its effects on the environment. 

Children painting the “Clean water starts with you” waste bin at the event.

A shout out to the staff of the City of Brampton’s Operation Centre. They supported us by providing a shelter space to use while completing the waste bins and transporting the bins to the sites.

A. Barrel located at Knightsbridge
B. Barrel located in Eastbourne Park

Saptha created the initial designs of the anti-litter art for five waste bins. Sima Naseem, a local public artist, helped refine those concepts. Saptha and Sima collaborated to paint the anti-litter art and messages onto the waste bins. 

On the event day, community members participated in painting 3 silhouette waste bins. The other two waste bins were ready to go on-site. 

C. & D. These barrels are headed for Earnscliffe Park

The next part of the project is to collect and analyze the data for the final report. Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected using a combination of surveys and, social media feedback. Observations and data will be collected throughout September.

Saptha wants to understand the public perceptions of all five of the newly painted waste bins after they’ve been in their new locations for a while. She hopes to see positive changes around the areas with the painted cans. Her hypothesis is that, as community members engage with keeping parks clean, it will create a sense of stewardship for those parks meaning reduced litter and an increased level of caring for the environment. 

Positive data may inform whether or not anti-litter public art on waste bins can become a future element in the structure of public spaces to help people engage with their community.

E. Another barrel headed for Eastbourne Park

The Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) will include a survey as part of the Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Project (SNAP) newsletter to be distributed to the Bramalea community. The survey will capture peoples’ perceptions about disposing litter in these waste bins and its significance in saving the environment.

A sample question in the survey will ask if the amount of litter in the waste bin reflects the presence/absence of littering in the general area of the park. For instance, is there less litter in the area and more litter in the painted waste bins? Staff from the City of Brampton’s Operation Centre have also been asked to observe changes in littering behaviour when changing the waste bins’ garbage bags.

An Instagram poll has already been conducted from @bramptonea where folks voted for their favourite bin!  If you notice these bins at the parks, take a snapshot, and tag us on Instagram! Let us know what you think. 

Saptha wants to thank the BEA member volunteers as well as public artist Sima Naseem, the City of Brampton Operations Centre staff, and the TRCA SNAP project team for making this project possible! 

Stay tuned for the project outcome blog post October 2022. 

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BEA Logo

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