Green Deer

March 2020 Update:

Due to the present COVID-19 situation, all Green Deer events will be postponed until at least June 30, 2020.

Green Deer encourages residents of all ages, abilities, and economic and cultural backgrounds to pick up litter and “leave it better than they found it”. Participating in Green Deer is an effective way to have a positive environmental impact and strengthen community bonds.

Several different initiatives work together to keep our city looking its best:

For more information on any part of the Green Deer program, please email reddeergreendeer(at)gmail.com.

Green Deer Spring Cleanup Campaign

Postponed — New dates TBD

You can do your part to help keep our city clean and healthy by registering for Green Deer and picking up litter in your backyard, around your neighbourhood, or in a favourite green space.

People are encouraged to register so Green Deer organizers can distribute cleaning supplies, track the areas that have been cleaned, and recognize volunteer work.

Green Deer is made possible through partnerships with Save-On-Foods, Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire, Real Country 95.5 & Zed 98.9, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and The City of Red Deer.

What's in it for me?

Participating in Green Deer is a great way to get outside and give back to your community.

How to Register?

The Green Deer Spring Cleanup Campaign has been postponed until at least June 30, 2020. Online registration will be available on this website during the campaign dates.

Safety Information

When preparing for your Green Deer cleanup, make sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather and the task. Wear gloves and close-toed shoes, and use a grabbing device or trash picker for hard-to-reach items. Take the time to review the following safety information on rough sleeper camps, needles, and ticks and Lyme disease prior to your Green Deer cleanup.

Rough Sleeper Camps
If you find a rough sleeper (homeless) camp while participating in Green Deer, do not dismantle it under any circumstances. Instead, please call the RCMP complaint line at 403-343-5575. More information can be found on The City of Red Deer’s website.

Needles
Never reach blindly into bushes or tall grasses to pick up litter. Always ensure you can see the entire piece of litter before picking it up. In addition to other dangerous items, such as broken glass, there is the possibility of finding discarded needles. If you find a needle, please refer to Red Deer’s Needle Disposal Guide. Never place needles in a plastic bag or garbage can as this puts other people at risk, especially staff responsible for picking up and changing garbage cans throughout the city.

There is growing concern of the health risks posed by accidental needlestick injuries, especially among parents of young children. The safety of all Green Deer participants is of top priority, however it is important to not let our fears override the facts. The risk of contracting a blood-borne illness (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or HIV) after a community-acquired needlestick injury is extremely low. The risks are much lower for community-acquired needlestick injuries compared to those sustained in a healthcare setting in part because community needles rarely contain fresh blood.

A study by the Canadian Paediatric Society found “A review of the literature up to July 2018 yielded 14 case series from areas of high prevalence for blood-borne viruses. These studies involved a total of 613 children with follow-up for HIV, 575 for HBV, and 394 for HCV. There were no transmissions.”

Another study of 274 pediatric patients with community-acquired needlestick injuries at two Montreal hospitals over a period of 19 years found there were no seroconversions upon testing for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.

Ticks and Lyme Disease
At the end of your Green Deer cleanup, remember to check your body for ticks. Lyme disease is caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium, usually transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. More information can be found in the Central Alberta Lyme Society brochure, on the Tick Hot Spot poster, and in this guide to repellents.

garbage pick up available

Please put your Green Deer garbage bags with your own household garbage whenever possible (in your black bin). If you’re choosing this option, garbage bags can be plain garbage bags bought from a store, or they can be Green Deer garbage bags.

If you have collected large amounts of litter, please place them near a City park or activity centre garbage can and email reddeergreendeer(at)gmail.com with the number and location of the bags you left out (we need to pick them up as soon as possible so wildlife doesn't get into them and undo all your hard work). Garbage bags left out in the open for pick up must be Green Deer garbage bags, obtained from the Kerry Wood Nature Centre, not plain garbage bags bought from a store.

During the campaign dates, Green Deer garbage bags may also be brought directly to The City of Red Deer Waste Management Facility (landfill) without paying a fee. This offer does not apply to plain garbage bags bought from a store.

issue a challenge to a friend...or rival

There’s nothing like a little friendly rivalry to get your Green Deer team working even harder, and having fun doing it. Who could you challenge? A business rival, another class in your school, a group in your community, or an opposing sports team? It could even be as simple as encouraging your neighbours to take part in a 15 minute challenge. The possibilities are endless; the key is to have fun.

challenge toolkit

Click Here


Red Deer River Cleanup & Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

These annual spring and fall initiatives draw volunteers from across the city to join together to keep the river and shoreline litter-free. Both cleanups are organized similarly, with the Red Deer River Cleanup occurring every spring, and the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup happening each fall.

Red Deer River Cleanup: Postponed until at least June 30, 2020*

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup: Saturday, September 19, 2020*

*Please be aware that these dates may change, or the cleanups cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any changes will be posted on this website.

Pre-registration is not required for the Red Deer River or Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups. On the day of each cleanup, residents are asked to arrive at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre promptly at 12:30 p.m. to receive their cleaning supplies and to be assigned a specific area of the riverbank to clean. Volunteers can expect to be done cleaning up litter by 3:30 p.m., with a free BBQ and prizes to follow each cleanup.

Participants should wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and bring gloves. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Certificates are available upon request. Please speak to the coordinator upon arrival at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre on the day of the event if you would like a certificate. This is especially helpful for high school students looking to get volunteer hours!

Partners of the Red Deer River and Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups include NOVA Chemicals, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and Trout Unlimited Canada.

Volunteers who want more information on the Red Deer River and Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups can call 403-346-2010 ext 111.

Adopt a park

Is there a green space in Red Deer that’s special to you? Why not adopt it?

To find out how to get involved or for more information on the Adopt a Park program, please contact The City of Red Deer, Recreation, Parks & Culture, or click here.

Cigarette butt awareness program

A little litter can do a lot of damage

Cigarette butts are the most commonly littered item worldwide and Red Deer is no exception. Unfortunately, cigarette butts do not disappear.

A common myth is that cigarette butts are not harmful litter because the filter is made out of cotton that will easily decompose. In truth, a typical cigarette butt filter is made out of a type of plastic called cellulose acetate. These filters can take up to ten years to decompose, leaving behind microplastic pollution.

The microplastic pollution that comes from cigarette butts isn’t even the worst of what happens to that little cigarette butt that gets tossed on the ground. Cigarette butts leach toxins into the environment, get eaten by wildlife, are a primary cause of house and forest fires, and cost millions of taxpayer dollars to clean up.

If you choose to smoke, please do your part to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly.

Have you heard of pocket ashtrays?

Pocket ashtrays are a convenient way to butt out on-the-go. The air seal suffocates smokables (so you can insert a lit cigarette) and keeps the smell in!

Pocket ashtrays are the perfect addition to your everyday life (pop it in your purse, backpack, or car), but also for your adventures. The small size is ideal for camping, kayaking, or anything you do while out and about.

If you would like to pick up your free pocket ashtray, you may do so at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre. Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kerry Wood Nature Centre is not open to the general public. However, we can still get you a pocket ashtray if you arrange a pick up date and time with the Green Deer organizers by emailing reddeergreendeer(at)gmail.com. And why not also register for Green Deer and pick up your litter cleanup supplies when you pick up your pocket ashtray?

interested in recycling your cigarette butts?

Collect your cigarette butts at home or at work, then send them in to be recycled using a free shipping label. For more information on recycling cigarette butts, click here.

Ready to quit smoking?

For information from Alberta Quits, click here.