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This article was published 4/7/2018 (1124 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Mounds of empty beer cans, a pile of chairs, a table and a half-deflated tent made up just some of the garbage left for organizers to clean up Tuesday after Dauphin’s Countryfest came to an end.
"It’s a mess, plain and simple," said one of the volunteers on the cleanup crew to whom The Brandon Sun reached out. The volunteer wished to remain anonymous.
The five-day festival saw about 12,000 people come through, with 4,000 of them camping out on site, many of them leaving half-destroyed belongings behind.
"It’s crazy, we were there from Thursday all the way through, and by the time Sunday arrived there were certain areas that looked like a Third World country got hit by a tornado or something, it was terrible," the volunteer said.
The garbage is expected to take the better part of this week to cleanup, but Rob Waloschuk, general manager for Countryfest said that it’s still better than he has seen in previous years.
"It’s actually less this year then years past, obviously everybody shows the worst picture of the worst sight, (but) if everybody saw the other areas of the festival you would see that it’s actually quite good," Waloschuk said.
The president of Countryfest said that the reason the cleanup is going so well is because of the great volunteers they have on sight.
"Our cadet program, they already have piles and they’ve already got things cleaned up, it looks fantastic out there," Ann Ransom said. "They’ve been doing it for so many years they’re just a well-oiled machine, they know what has to get done," Ransom said.
There were some pretty big things left at the festival in the past, one in particular that sticks out for Waloschuk.
"A couple of times there were people who just plain old left their camper behind," he said.
"To be fair, it was an old camper and rickety and stuff like that, so they just decided ‘well, we don’t need this anymore.’"
On Tuesday, about 20 to 30 people were cleaning up the remains of 2018’s Countryfest, which included broken tents, furniture, cans and food.
There is a positive from all the garbage, though, as the tents that are found are salvaged and then recycled.
"We get them all cleaned and dry cleaned, and we give them to the homeless," Waloschuk said.
"Or there’s an organization in Winnipeg that we give them to use for their various needs, Red Cross and stuff like that."
To cut down on the cleanup, Countryfest takes preventative steps to limit the amount of trash, including providing garbage bags and doing constant cleanups throughout the week, as well as monitoring messy areas.
"If there is any kind of sites throughout the weekend that look like they’re going to be a problem ... we come in ahead of time before the festival is even over, and we make people clean up their site," Waloschuk said.
Volunteers this year from the Air Cadets and parents from the high school band worked on sorting through the recycling.
"We continue to recycle garbage. It all goes into the recycling depot where cans and plastics and sort are all separated," Waloschuk said.
It’s a big job to get rid of a mess left by 12,000 people, but as of Tuesday afternoon Waloschuk said things were looking good.
"By the end of this week, the site will probably look almost close to the way it was before," he said.
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