The owner of an Indian restaurant in the Plateau borough has found a creative way to encourage his neighbours to keep their trash to themselves.
It all started when India Rosa owner Goppy Sandhu noticed that people were piling all sorts of garbage in and around the industrial-sized bins in the alleyway at the back of his restaurant.
“Full garbage on the backside of the restaurant. It was looking like a dump. A garbage mountain, you could say,” he told Global News.
“It was a big problem for us you know, for our image, for the restaurant also.”
The restaurant has only been open for a year — but Sandhu says neighbours who live in the area have been helping themselves to the alleyway since day one.
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He says him and his colleagues have had to shovel the trash into their container at least three times a week since.
The alleged culprits, Sandhu says, aren’t fellow store owners; they’re people who live nearby.
“There are three TVs, it’s not the restaurant, it’s not the guy next to me, it’s not the boutique, so it’s the neighbours,” he said.
“We see every time [it’s] full of garbage at the backside of the restaurant, even if it’s not us. It makes us start our day very badly.”
Last week, Sandhu’s father came up with the idea to set up planter boxes with plants near the bin to see if that would deter garbage-tossers from littering.
“He said, ‘listen, you should put flowers in the back, people are going to stop putting the garbage,'” Sandhu said.
Since Saturday, the area has been garbage free — at a cost of somewhere between $200 and $400.
The Plateau-Mont-Royal borough says it is aware of the issue, but no official was available for an interview.
Officials stated they have installed trash containers in some areas for people to use, as well as some flower pots to deter residents from throwing garbage in alleyways.
The only way to hold anyone accountable, they said, is to catch someone in the act or find a proof of address.
The borough estimates close to 1,200 fines were given out last year for trash-related infractions.
He noted some of his fellow business owners may just follow in his footsteps to protect their bins from the neighbourhood trash too.
— With files from Global News’ Shakti Langlois-Ortega
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