A half-dozen families with 16 people came together to have a massive litter cleanup at the high end of Brandon Crescent June 11. Litter had built up over the winter along the cul-de-sac and in the back lane. Some inconsiderate people had already dumped their old carpeting, a sofa, and broken toys in the lane several months earlier. A few neighbours had previously planned and discussed how the event would work. The city building inspector was contacted to work out details of acquiring gloves and garbage bags. Everyone was keen to clean up their street and lane and the bush area behind Brandon Crescent.
The city’s plan this year was that all full garbage bags were to be hauled to their neighbouring school’s garbage bin. The volunteer work force did not think that was practical considering 45 bags of garbage were collected and would have to be carried seven or eight blocks by hand or by car. That seemed to be a deterrent to the cleanup. The danger was to drag heavy, full bags that far might have some tear open and make a further mess. One landlord was able to bring a trailer that did the hauling to bins at different schools. Two large extra piles of debris including a sofa, broken bikes and toys, construction debris, etc. were also gathered for the city to pick up a few days later.
Two properties had accumulated a great amount of garbage and construction material in the yard over the winter. Those owners were individually approached to clean up their rental properties and to prevent any fire hazards. The city had previously enacted cleanup orders, and neighbours expressed support that the city keep up the pressure to repair and clean up derelict properties.
The neighbourhood families enjoyed a hot dog barbecue with refreshments as a treat and as recognition for all those who helped. Overall, everyone was very pleased with the turnout and how clean the area now looks. Planning such neighbourhood cleanups in the future by the City of Thompson could be an effective strategy to engage the public and promote community pride.
Michelle Charron and Volker Beckmann organized and participated in the Brandon Crescent cleanup.