PickWaste’s commitment to picking up litter has resulted in a massive movement and the launch of Awareness Day: A community event aimed at raising awareness and conversation about pollution and how others can take action. Over the past year, Dillon Mendes and Sam Demma, Founders and two of the Top 25 Environmentalist in Canada Under 25, have built up the social venture, PickWaste. Scroll to bottom for event review.

PickWaste’s Awareness Day will be taking place on August 18th, 2018 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at St. Mary C.S.S (1918 Whites Rd Pickering On). Over 100 people are expected to attend, including the Mayor of Pickering, who will be a guest speaker, along with other Mayors from the Durham Region.

It started in June 2017, when Mendes noticed Demma picking up litter on the side of the road. When Demma was asked about why he was spending his free time cleaning the road, he responded by explaining a theory that his teacher once told him, “If you commit to a small consistent action, it will lead to a massive global change.”

Inspired by this, Mendes suggested they lead weekly clean ups. They went out to West Shore Beach on July 1, 2017, not knowing where this initiative would lead. As a result, this became a routine every Saturday morning, resulting in the collection of over 600 bags of litter, multiple presentations where the team empowered 7000 individuals, and the organization’s upcoming expansion to five cities by September 2018.

Mendes and Demma have kept the recycling that they have picked up during weekly cleanups for the past four months. They plan to station it as a massive garbage structure at the front of their old high school. This statue will be the visual queue that fosters the insane reaction from the public that they are aiming for. They want people to understand how serious this issue really is, and to begin empathizing with what this issue might look like in a third world country,

In addition to this, they’re catering zero waste food, raffling eco-friendly products of as well as inviting ten social ventures to set up booths at the event, allowing individuals in the community to network with them. PickWaste strives to change people’s thoughts and ideas when it comes to sustainability and the effects of our everyday purchases.

“Picking up trash is not the solution, the solution is a reduction in the things that we throw out and this is the message we want people to take away after leaving the event. To “wow” people by how much garbage we found in a very clean city”, said Mendes.

It’s a Wrap!!!

On August 18th from 11 am – 1 pm,  Sam and myself (2 of the Top 25 Environmentalists in Canada) hosted our biggest event yet called Awareness Day!  

We kept the recycling that they have picked up during weekly cleanups for the past four months and stationed over 100 bags as a massive garbage structure at the front of our old high school. 

We presented our garbage structure to the news (CBC, CTV, CP24, CityNews, and 680 News) as well as the 100 people that attended the event, gave a 15-minute empowerment speech. Then the Mayor of Pickering and Oshawa spoke at our event and concluded with free lunch for everybody! 

We received incredible support and encouragement after the event on social media! Our next steps are to expand our corporate event platform (where we invite businesses to give back to their community by participating in a community clean up), as well as spread more awareness about single-use plastics through speaking at more companies, schools and conferences! Lastly, we are preparing for the launch of two new PickWaste chapters in Montreal and Waterloo! 


Dillon Mendes – Top 25 under 25 Environmentalist

Co-Founder of PickWaste – Join Our Weekly Cleanups

For more information on PickWaste and their initiative, find them on social media at @PickWaste or check out their website, www.pickwaste.ca

About the Author

Bryen writes about local Durham community news, including regional events, municipality updates, entertainment, lifestyle, and the great outdoors. Email him directly if you want your business profiled or know a community member that deserves recognition - bryen@thelocalbizmagazine.com