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Downtown Winnipeg BIZ says it’s cleaning streets 1 butt at a time

WINNIPEG — Do you feel downtown Winnipeg is cleaner? The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ says its crews are clearing away more dirt, grime and graffiti than before.

There were 5,680  bus shelters cleaned in 2014, an increase of 864 over the previous year, BIZ officials said Monday. More graffiti tags were also removed — 4,289 in 2014 compared to 2,218 in 2013.

The Downtown BIZ cleaning crews have the unpleasant job of also picking up cigarette butts.  On average, 125 butts and six cigarette packages are picked up on each block every day.

The greater emphasis on cleaning is one way to change people’s perceptions about downtown, BIZ officials said.

A BIZ survey found 86 per cent of people asked in 2013 said downtown was clean.

There were 20 staff members on the cleaning crew in 2014, including 12 full-time and eight seasonal workers. The BIZ’s goal for 2015 is 18 full-time workers and four seasonal.

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