Verdun launches cheeky ad campaign aimed at shaming those who litter
MONTREAL – The borough of Verdun is hoping a cheeky advertising campaign will make people rethink their garbage habits.
It’s a problem the borough spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on trying to curb – cigarette butts, trash and even souvenirs from man’s best friends can easily be found on the streets of Verdun.
“We spent a lot of money to clean the borough year after year,” Jean-François Parenteau, the borough’s mayor, said.
“We put more baskets everywhere and citizens sent me by different messages saying ‘enough is enough.'”
Inspired by Saint-Henri’s cleanup campaign last year, Verdun decided to put up posters with quirky designs all over the borough.
“Because it’s playful, I think the population will own it,” Parenteau said.
The message on a few of the ads loosely translates to ‘if you leave your garbage, you are garbage.’
When asked if this was public shaming, the mayor giggled and said “it’s part of the goal.”
People will be able to get stickers or flags and put them where they find garbage.
Parenteau said he thinks social pressure will make offenders clean up their act and some Verduners told Global News they agreed.
“It would help because sometimes the city looks pretty dirty,” one resident said.
Sebastien Galy manages a fast food joint on Wellington Street.
His business is among several that have been sent letters asking them to install an outdoor ashtray.
Galy said he’s happy about the campaign and that it will give him some more time to focus on his cooking duties.
“All my time, I spend cleaning those things,” he said, referring to cigarette butts.
“I don’t like the sidewalk being dirty.”
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Offenders could face fines ranging anywhere between $100 and $2,000.
A cleaning squad will be on watch this summer in order to identify offenders.
“It’s a strong message, but it’s a goal we want to put in the collectivity,” Parenteau remarked.
A big spring cleaning is planned for the end of April where Verduners are invited to help clean their borough.
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.