Safer McCauley: Cleaning Up in the Time of COVID-19
When the pandemic arrived, we could only imagine how it might affect us, collectively or individually. Those of us fortunate enough to support community from the safety of home soon realized how privileged we are. But how would we continue to build connectedness without face-to-face engagement? How would we adapt? And how would we maintain the momentum of existing work?
More than two months later, much remains unknown. But we can marvel at the adaptability and resilience of community in the face of an unprecedented challenge. And Safer McCauley is grateful to be able to continue to partner with community in support of well-being in our neighbourhood.
Cleanliness is critical to community well-being. Together, Safer McCauley, McCauley Revitalization, and the McCauley Community League have focused increasingly on garbage, dumped large items, needle debris, and problem properties. This collaboration relies on support from numerous partners – and community-minded individuals like you. Much progress has been made and momentum has increased regardless of COVID-19.
This spring, one individual’s post to the Facebook group McCauley Connect & Share, about cleaning up her block, prompted dozens of others to pitch in. Within a week, Safer McCauley distributed 40 litter kits from a front porch. Community members were soon seen cleaning up wherever and whenever they could. And a physically distanced Litter Blitz took place, attended by MLA Janis Irwin and Councillor Scott McKeen. We have acquired another 50 litter kits (including litter grabbers) from Capital City Clean Up. Households wanting a kit and/or sharps container can contact me directly at email@example.com.
Efforts to maintain a clean community are ongoing. An annual McCauley Community Clean Up is a mainstay of the neighbourhood calendar. This season, to adapt to COVID-19, a contractor provided by the McCauley Community League, McCauley Revitalization, E4C, and Safer McCauley will pick up large items free of charge. If you have items you’d like to dispose of, please place them in the alley behind your property the morning of June 19 and/or 20. A second event will take place September 18 and 19. The McCauley Litter Squad will activate to support these events. Please consider joining us.
For large items illegally dumped on your property and/or public property throughout the year, please contact McCauley Revitalization Coordinator, Greg Brandenbarg at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to have them removed.
Where possible, please lock up your garbage or keep it out of view until collection day. To reduce garbage rummaging please consider using clear transparent bags.
Please call 311 to report needles on public property. Capital City Clean Up will respond. Boyle Street Ventures cleans up needles on public and private property, Monday to Friday (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. – noon). Please call 780-426-0500 for service. This spring, Downtown Proud has also been spotted cleaning up litter and needles deep into McCauley. Stay tuned for details regarding the resumption of the Mustard Seed and McCauley Revitalization’s partnership in needle clean up services.
Cleanliness is linked to the issue of problem properties. Recently, there has been significant progress in addressing problem properties in McCauley.
Cleanliness is linked to the issue of problem properties. Recently, there has been significant progress in addressing problem properties in McCauley. The Problem Property Initiative (PPI) has developed a stronger action plan in consultation with community members. Confidential online reporting is now available. New Municipal Enforcement Officer (MEO) positions have been created to respond to online complaints, and to target the most problematic properties. EPS and Alberta Health Services have noticeably increased enforcement and closure orders. And there are plans to redevelop several properties into something more positive for the community. For more about the PPI and/or to file a confidential report, please visit edmonton.ca and search ”report a problem property.”
Issues regarding problem properties and all other bylaw infractions can also be reported via 311, allowing the City to track all complaints. Anyone reporting via 311 is advised to request a file number and can request a call back from the MEO for McCauley.
Visit Facebook @safermccauley for updates.
Mark is REACH Edmonton’s McCauley Community Convener. He can be contacted at email@example.com.