London Clean and Green campaign gets underway for 29th year running

Jay Stanford, London's director of climate change, environment, and waste management, encourages Londoners to do their part and pick up some litter. Ben Harrietha/980 CFPL

It’s spring cleaning in London, Ont., as the city’s annual two-week Clean and Green campaign begins.

The campaign, now in its 29th year, was officially launched Tuesday at the Tourism London Welcome Centre.

Since 1996, the campaign has promoted litter prevention and community-led cleanups across London. It consists of the 12 Days of Cleaning leading up to the 20-minute London Makeover on April 19 and the Community-wide Clean-up and Earthfest on April 20.

“With the snow now gone, we’ve all seen the litter on the ground, so the London Clean and Green campaign gets started this time every year,” says Jay Stanford, director of climate change, environment, and waste management with the city.

Stanford says more than ever, Londoners need to do their part in picking up litter, be it through large scale clean-ups or picking up a few pieces on a walk.

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“Throughout the month of April, we have a lot of large cleanups, so you can easily join larger groups in London doing their part,” Stanford said.

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“But it is so important to take that time and effort now to get the city ready for those summer months ahead.”

The “12 Days of Cleaning” encourages Londoners to tidy up their homes, backyard sheds, or tackle any spring cleaning while making sure every piece of litter goes where it needs to go, the city says.

The “20-minute London Makeover” on the 19th encourages local businesses, institutions, and individual Londoners to spend 20 minutes tidying up outside their workplace or home, with many starting around 2 p.m.

Closing out the campaign, the “Community-wide Clean-up” takes place April 20 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. with a number of community-led cleanups around the city. London’s annual EarthFest will also be running the same day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to promote environmental action and local organizations.

“It’s a tough ask, but we know based on past years where we got 1000s of Londoners doing it, we ask that you just tell your friends and your family and neighbors to do their part and help London get clean and green,” Stanford says.

Speaking at the launch, London mayor Josh Morgan says a priority of council is climate action.

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“We now have a permanent reserve fund that we are contributing to on an annual basis that will fund the actions that will take not just this year or next year, but over the next 30 years to ensure that we meet our climate targets,” Morgan said.

“We’ve got to do our work to make sure that the world is a livable, sustainable place for (future generations), so that requires not only actions of government and the private sector, but the individual actions of Londoners, Ontarians, and Canadians each and every day.”

Londoners looking to take part in the cleanup can request bags and gloves from the city and request a curbside location for bagged litter to be collected by the city on April 20.

Scheduled clean-ups can be found on a map posted to the city’s Get Involved website.

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