IN PHOTOS: Over 600 Syringes Found In Floriana Grove
'Today was by far the worst cleanup I've been a part of in the last decade'
Now boasting over 4,000 members, Malta Clean Up is not new to community initiatives around the island. What happened yesterday, however, shocked even the most seasoned of the group's members, as 667 syringes were found in only one area.
"Today was by far the worst cleanup I've been a part of in the last decade," organiser and activist Camilla Appelgren told her family, friends and fans on Facebook on Sunday evening. For yesterday's cleanup, the group descended onto the area next to the Notre Dame Ditch, between Pieta' and Floriana. The huge field with trees and flowers which forms part of Jubilee Grove is accessible to the public, and is just down the road from Bieb il-Bombi.
"Let's say that counting syringes is not my favourite thing to do for a full Sunday," Camilla told Lovin Malta, equally disappointed and angry.
"Apart from all those syringes, we also collected about 35 bags of trash," Camilla told Lovin Malta.
In other photos sent in to Lovin Malta, syringes can be seen stuck to trees and scattered all across the park's ground. There were even food packets that showed the extent of the state in which the area has been left in the last decade. "It most likely hasn't been cleaned in nearly 20 years," Camilla told Lovin Malta, saying that they even found wrappers from the 2000s on the floor.
"According to the Local Council, the area seems to be government responsibility," Camilla said. "There are plans to make something nice there, but I was told it's not a priority at the moment."
James Aaron Ellul, a young Floriana PN Local Councillo, had proposed an extreme revamp to the overlooked green space some 10 months ago.
"Imagine a kid finding these instead of us," Camilla said. "And this was just 150 metres from the main road. It's so horrible."
"It's time for the government to also start maintaining areas that aren't full of concrete buildings," Camilla told Lovin Malta. On a post on Facebook sharing the distressing news, the Swedish-Maltese activist backed her anger with research. "A lot of areas that become 'trash points' and are kept unmaintained become playgrounds for criminal activity. And with criminal activity come social issues."
"Realise how powerful you are," Camilla finished. "Your choices impact everyone. Take action today and play a part in the solution, instead of the problem."