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Uncovered debris a growing problem for N.S. community


Erosion is uncovering large amounts of junk in Hartlen Point just outside Eastern Passage, N.S.

“There’s a lot of black wire and it’s coiled up and a lot of metal that maybe used to be wire. Pieces of car and old household garbage,” says Angela Riley of Scotian Shores, a group dedicated to coastal cleanup.

The garbage goes a long way under the bank so it’s unclear how much is actually buried here.

“I think what I’m standing on is garbage, all the way to the road and there needs to be remediation done by whoever owns this area,” Riley says.

It's proving difficult to pinpoint who that is. Riley has called municipal, provincial and federal governments, but no one has been helpful.

“I’ve tried contacting Transport (Canada), we even talked to the Halifax Water guys, Environment Canada. It’s a tidal zone and it’s erosion, so it’s a big grey area in a sandbox that nobody wants to get into,” says Riley.

“More of us are starting to speak up about this because it’s really bad and this black wire is actually one of the most common items we see in Eastern Passage. It’s all over the shoreline.”

Garbage is pictured in Hartlen Point, N.S. (Jonathan MacInnis/CTV Atlantic)

Patti Cepeda is trying to help, but it's too big a job for her and other volunteers.

“I would love all this cleaned up and I would like somebody to come and take responsibility because it’s not going to go away,” Cepeda says.

Erosion is revealing garbage in Hartlen Point, N.S. (Jonathan MacInnis/CTV Atlantic)

Cepeda comes and picks up what she can a couple times a week. She's concerned about the environmental impact of having this type of debris so close to the ocean.

“The water is coming up and maybe it’s taking some of it back out to sea, we don’t know,” says Cepeda.

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