Just over a year ago Gravenhurst resident Christina Hunter was inspired to create a group designed to bring people together to pick up litter.

She started the group “Trash Walking Cup Count Muskoka” on January 1st, 2020 in hopes of inspiring others to join her in picking up litter.

Hunter says she was inspired by a Facebook friend who was collecting litter and documenting it on her personal page. “I thought to open it up to the greater community who want to help,” she explains. Since starting the group last year, 196 people have joined. 

Hunter and the other members collected 2,820 cups over the past 12 months in Muskoka. “People take a picture, post it to the group and dispose of it,” she explains. “You don’t choose a time to go out and pick up garbage. While you’re out with your kids or walking to work pick up a cup and dispose of it.”

Most of the pictures taken are of cups that were tossed along the side of the road somewhere in Muskoka, but there are some litterers that get a little creative with where they decide to drop their cup. One person posted a picture of someone who had wedged a cup into a snowbank. Another posted a picture of someone who left their cup on the sidewalk a few feet away from a recycling bin. Hunter says she once found a cup that someone stuffed into a rotted-out tree trunk. “That person put some effort in to hide litter,” she says.

Hunter says she will keep the group open in 2021. She hopes that she can inspire someone outside of Muskoka to start a group of their own, just like how she was inspired by someone outside of the community.