“It’s been bugging me for weeks,” Rattelade said, on a blustery afternoon April 17, as she made her way along a drainage ditch alongside County Road 17 between Wendover and Rockland. “It’s all been there since the beginning spring.”
The spring melt this season left behind a collection of miscellaneous trash in the ditch close by to her own home property. Along with the usual paper trash, there is also a collection of used wiring and other small broke bits of electrical fixtures, and some styrofoam.
Rattelade, 65, doesn’t know how long the trash has been there, whether it dropped off, unnoticed, from the back of a passing vehicle sometime during the winter, or whether it was dumped on purpose. All she knows is that it is there, she doesn’t like the sight of it, and, since she is homebound like many others because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she might as well deal with the matter herself as a way to pass the time.
“Just because it bugs me, and it looks horrible, I think,” she said, then smile. “It also gives me an excuse to get outside.”
Rattelade is a retired custodian, who used to work for the Upper Canada District School Board. Most of her work involved cleaning and maintenance duty at Rockland District High School and Rockland Public School. She smiles at the suggestion that she is “still cleaning up” other people’s mess.
“It’s good for the environment,” she said.