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Valley Journal Advertiser - 2021-07-20

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Windsor man: world is not trash can

ENVIRONMENT

BY CINDY NGUYEN SPECIAL TO THE SALTWIRE NETWORK

Justin Greeno was riding his bike around Windsor and got fed up because there was lots of trash around, but no one seemed to be doing anything about it. The 25-year-old man, who is also known as Jerry, then decided to do something about it in his free time. Starting on April 11, Greeno began biking around Windsor and the neighbouring communities to pick up garbage. “Biking would be the easiest and fastest way to get around and still have a place to put garbage,” he said. Every day, for four hours, Greeno heads into town, bikes everywhere he can look for trash — both on the street and in public places, picks the items up and then gathers them all together. “I think everyone’s initial thoughts were if I worked for the town,” he said. Realizing there were not many people who knew about the garbage issue, he started making signs and putting up posters in the area. Greeno also created a Facebook page called The World is NOT Your Trash Can a couple of days before he headed out for the first time to call for community support. Since then, more and more people have gotten involved in the work. “I started with around 100 of my friends following and it goes up to almost 800 followers now,” he said, noting a friend also helped him with running ads around the communities. The Facebook page "helps show my side of things and shows people how bad the issue really is.” The page works as a daily trash-picking diary, updating the places Greeno has gone through during the day and how much garbage he has collected. “It’s crazy because I’ve been through here (Lawton’s) each day and there is always something new,” he wrote in one post on July 6. His action has gained plenty of support from the community. Greeno said he was blown away after receiving a new mountain bike with a little child carrier that he later made into a trailer. It was a gift from Napa Auto Parts, Atlantic Radiator and Schofield’s Autopro. “I was honestly so happy and grateful for it,” he said. “I met them in person at Napa early one morning and was able to drive (the bike) back home.” His family and friends are his top supporters, he said. “They give me the motivation to get up and do good each day.” Abraham Zebian, mayor of the West Hants Regional Municipality, said Greeno is leading by example by cleaning up the communities one bag at a time. “He shows maturity and dedication and a love for his community,” Zebian said. “We need more Justins in this world.” Greeno also created a GoFundMe account, where the funds raised goes towards purchasing bags, water, gloves, masks, parts for the bike and other necessities. So far, he has raised $400 out of his $500 goal with 13 donors. His plan is to raise enough money to buy a truck and clean all of Nova Scotia and then anywhere else he can. Visit the funding account at: gf.me/u/zpwpcn. Greeno believes what he has been doing is important since littering has become a global issue. “It’s not just our little town that is full of garbage, it’s the whole world.” Small actions make a big difference with the right mindset, he said. “I really do hope that we can all work together and then we won’t be living in our own waste. I believe people can change for the better and that we need to protect this place because we share it with all walks of life.” Chris Manning accepted a joint recommendation from lawyers and ordered EFR to pay a $50,000 fine, $7,500 victim fine surcharge and donate $50,000 to the provincial labour minister’s education fund. The judge said the offences were “a preventable breach of regulations, resulting in tragic consequences for Ryan Durling, with great effect on his family and friends.” Five victim impact statements submitted for the hearing collectively painted a picture of how important Durling was to those who knew and loved him, Manning said. “They were all extremely powerful statements and they make it very clear that Ryan Durling was a very muchloved son, fiancé, relative, co-worker and teammate,” he said. “He was also a young man who gave freely back to his community as a mentor, coach and firefighter. “It may well be very difficult for Ryan’s family and those close to him to hear a discussion of a fine as being the appropriate penalty in this case. Obviously, no amount of money imposed as a fine will feel adequate or compensate for the family’s loss. It’s not in any way intended to be a reflection of Ryan’s value.” An agreed statement of facts said Durling told his co-workers he had to urinate but didn’t mention he was entering the access door of the truck. Either on his way in or out of the compartment, a lever beside the door was inadvertently pulled, activating the compacting ram. The truck’s other crew members were loading a glass door into the rear of the vehicle when they noticed the hydraulics lift up. A worker went to the side of the truck, pulled the lever to release the hydraulics and saw Durling’s right leg outside the access door and that his upper body had been pinched by the ram. He removed Durling from the truck and they called 911. An inspection of the truck determined no interlocks were installed on the access door and there was no padlock in place. “Counsel, in this case, acknowledged the safety violations contributed to Mr. Durling’s death in more than a trivial way, therefore EFR has a high degree of responsibility,” the judge said. The company’s lawyers said the circumstances that gave rise to the fatal mishap were not an effort by EFR to avoid its obligations to its workers or to cut corners. “Nor were they the product of corporate recklessness or incompetence,” the defence brief said. “The unfortunate event in question was an unintended incident. … EFR is deeply remorseful for what happened and has accepted responsibility for its failure.” After the incident, EFR took steps to ensure all its collection trucks had operational interlock devices and made interlocks part of its maintenance checklist and pre-trip inspections. Defence lawyer Brad Proctor said it was mitigating that the company provided grief counselling for employees, paid for Durling’s funeral and gravestone at a cost of about $8,300, and made a $5,000 donation to the Margaretsville Volunteer Fire Department in his memory. The Labour Department conducted an impromptu inspection on an EFR garbage truck this April and found that it was fully compliant with safety regulations. “The interlock devices that were missing are mandatory safety mechanisms,” Crown attorney Alex Keaveny told The Chronicle Herald. “Had they been installed as required, Ryan would be alive today. It’s as plain as that. “Today’s joint recommendation for $107,500 in penalties puts this sentence at the high end of OHSA sentences in Nova Scotia to date and recognizes these were serious breaches with terrible consequences that were 100 per cent preventable.” In her victim impact statement, Pam Durling said Ryan was the youngest of her three children and she held him especially close to her heart. She said he had a goofy sense of humour, a contagious smile, a heart of gold, and his family meant everything to him. She said Ryan completed Grade 12 and went on to community college before settling into a couple of odd and part-time jobs. He was a member of the Annapolis County tug-of-war team, had his black stripe in taekwondo and joined the fire brigade at the age of 18. Ryan held two main jobs, she said, but would put them on hold to work for EFR for the fall and spring cleanups to earn some extra money. “He had dreams of building a home or purchasing a mini-home that he could put on a piece of land,” she said. “He continually was looking at his future and trying to figure out ways to get what he wanted in life. He had a girlfriend at the time of his death who he truly cherished.” Pam said the death has torn her family apart and some days she feels as if she cannot hold herself together. She hopes the Labour Department will use the mandated donation to educate young workers about the importance of workplace health and safety. “I wish I would have listened more closely to Ryan when he told his work stories,” she said. “I never imagined he would have been in harm’s way. “No one should ever have to bury a child.” Contacted later Wednesday, Pam said she felt drained after sitting through the sentencing. “I knew how everything happened, how the accident took place, and I would picture it in my mind, but to hear somebody else describe it was really hard,” she said. She said she has been in touch with Threads of Life, a support group for families of those killed or injured in workplace mishaps, about becoming a speaker. “I’d like to go out and tell (Ryan’s) story and talk about the importance of safety.”

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