The World Cleanup Day brought together 54,200 people in Estonia on Saturday. Those who participated in the capital Tallinn said that while the city looks clean, their bags filled with garbage faster than they had anticipated.
While everyone is free to take part in the World Cleanup Day wherever they are, Tallinn has several locations where one is bound to come across trash. One such area is the Stroomi Beach and the surrounding forest where people had turned up as families, with friends and schoolmates. Many young participants ended up learning a thing or two about tidying up.
"The main thing is that trash goes in the trash bin," event participant Risto said of his children.
British Ambassador Ross Allen had brought his family and friends out to clean.
"My kids are eight, six and four, and they helped. Hopefully, they learned that it is very important to keep beaches, woods and indeed the entire world clean," the diplomat said.
Students of the Estonian Open School had also turned out to pitch in. They found cigarette butts, rubber gloves, napkins and even a mattress complete with sheets in the forest.
Even though Estonia has been having cleanup days since 2007, there is always more trash to dispose of, and the people who helped clear the area around the iconic Linnahall building in Tallinn said that what they collected was just a small part of what could still be picked up.
"The situation was improved somewhat, while it is clear that people still do not care, and there is a lot of trash here that could end up in trash bins instead," Jane said.
Cemeteries cleaned in Lääne County
Work started at 10 a.m. in the yard of the Lääne-Nigula Church. Pastor Kristo Hüdsi lead the participants in a short prayer after which volunteers of all ages took to clearing the yard and the surrounding area of garbage. They had grand plans.
"Ours is a very old cemetery, and there are many graves here that are no longer being looked after. We hope to clean them up at least a little and achieve a more orderly general situation," said Agne Viilma, chairman of the board of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church's (EELK) Lääne-Nigula congregation.
Because a geothermal heating system was recently installed at the church and rectory, it is still impossible to mow the lawn using heavier equipment in some places, which is why a string trimmer was used instead.
Many who participated are members of the local congregation. The participants were glad of the good company and, of course, the traditional soup at the end of the day.
Editor: Marko Tooming, Marcus Turovski