I am not the only one that notices the eyesore that has come to light. I’ve heard a few folks rant about the inconsideration of others who toss everything from fast food wrappers and coffee cups to cigarette butts and, this year, disposable face masks. Nobody ever admits to doing it, yet the evidence remains for all to see.
There are those that will rant about how the City needs to clean this all up quickly. That’s much easier said than done. People bring up how they pay taxes and should therefore expect garbage to picked up in our parks, along pathways and street boulevards. They are only partially right. Nobody pays enough taxes to have City employees follow and police those that litter 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We would need thousands of employees, and that would cost us exponentially more taxes. Employees are not free. We have hundreds of kilometres of park pathways and streets and hundreds of acres of parks throughout our city. The only way we can tackle this as a community is by rolling up our sleeves and becoming part of the solution.
Every year, for the past 20 years, regular readers of my columns know I encourage local residents to ‘pitch in’ this time of year by taking a pair of gloves and a bag with them when they go for a walk so they can help tackle this overwhelming clean-up. I encourage local sports groups, service groups and others to take a day to tackle a local park or roadside. Every year, good people step up and do their part to keep our city beautiful. I’m hoping that this year brings out even more than in years past.
I think it’s important for business owners and commercial property owners to clean up their properties right now as well. As we ask the community to support local businesses, I think it’s important that the business community show appreciation by preventing the litter that some of their clientele produces from blowing into surrounding neighbourhoods and parks.
This is also a great opportunity for school principals to arrange a period or two for their students to clean up their schoolyards and surrounding areas. The best way to teach our youth not to litter is to show them the importance of cleaning up after those who do and the effort it takes to do so.
If your family, sporting group, social group, service club or business is pitching in this year, please send me some photos so that I can thank you on our social media pages or even publish them in our paper. For those arranging large group cleanups, please call the City at 403-948-8800 and they can arrange to have the collected bags of garbage picked up. They may be able to even help acquire some garbage bags for your group.