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Safer McCauley: What it Takes to Keep McCauley Clean

Volunteers at the September 19th Litter Blitz. Mark Davis

Cleanliness is an ongoing challenge in McCauley. Removing litter and illegally dumped junk from the neighbourhood is a big task. But with contributions from an array of people, our community is tackling the challenge. And we’re beginning to fully understand what it takes to keep McCauley clean.

McCauley Apartments and E4C are the veterans of neighbourhood clean-up in McCauley. With support from the McCauley Community League (MCL), they have facilitated the Annual McCauley Community Clean-Up that many of us have benefitted from for years. More than just a generous free service, the clean-ups have been community-building events. Unfortunately, due to COVID, a traditional event could not take place this year. Adaptations were made to reduce the risk of exposure. The results saw McCauley Apartments, E4C, Boyle Street Ventures (BSV), McCauley Revitalization, and Safer McCauley all playing roles.

McCauley Clean-Ups took place in both June and September this year, promoted via social media, email, and flyers. Forty-two large truckloads of illegally dumped junk and unwanted large items were removed from households and businesses free of charge.

To arrange for the removal of illegally dumped junk from your property throughout the year, please contact McCauley Revitalization Coordinator, Greg Brandenbarg at gregory.brandenbarg@edmonton.ca.

Neighbourhood volunteers play a huge role in keeping McCauley clean. Over the past two years, neighbours have come together for one-hour Litter Blitzes, with Litter Kits provided by the City of Edmonton’s Capital City Clean Up (CCCU). This year, three socially-distanced events took place between April and September.

September 19th’s Litter Blitz coincided with both World Cleanup Day and Community League Day. Thirty volunteers included MLA Janis Irwin and representation from the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace Committee, McCauley Apartments, Better Environments, and the Edmonton John Howard Society. Over the past six events, 120 people have cleaned up 98 bags of litter. And with 96 Litter Kits finding their way into households, individuals are frequently seen cleaning up wherever and whenever they choose.

If your household or business requires a free Litter Kit and/or sharps container, please contact Mark Davis at Mark.Davis@reachedmonton.ca.

Social enterprises are playing an increasingly important role in the promotion of cleanliness in McCauley. Through a recent agreement with CCCU, McCauley Revitalization, and the Chinatown and Area Business Association, Mustard SeedWorks is currently providing 42 hours/week of litter and needle clean-up in Chinatown and broader McCauley. Over the past four months, SeedWorks has removed 331 bags of litter and 995 stray needles from our streets, alleys, and green spaces.

Boyle Street Ventures (BSV) is being contracted to remove large items from McCauley – both throughout the year and as part of McCauley Clean-Ups. This social enterprise also offers other services, such as regular sweeps of McCauley alleys for litter and needles, and pressure washing in the Chinatown BIA. It is also the first organization to offer clean-up of needle debris on both public and private property throughout Edmonton.

To report stray needles on public property, call 311. To request free clean-up of needles on private and/or public property, call BSV at 780-426-0500 .

McCauley is visibly better off. Efforts are being tracked closely, and a clearer picture of the extra resources it takes to keep McCauley clean is emerging.

Mark is REACH Edmonton’s Neighbourhoods Convener. He can be contacted at mark.davis@reachedmonton.ca.

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