As the snow melts in Winnipeg, residents are once again seeing the exposed garbage on the ground — and there’s a lot of it.
Ethans said the city’s average, on the index’s 1-4 scale, rose from 2.18 to 2.37 this year, with the northeastern part of town scoring the highest (or the dirtiest) at 2.82, and west Winnipeg on the other end of the scale at 2.02.
“If you’re driving down a street and you see absolutely no litter, that’s a one, and if you’re driving down a street and you see litter everywhere you look, that’s a four,” Ethans said.
“It’s just the accumulation of litter as you’re driving along. If it’s a constant look of litter and it’s going to take more than one or two people to clean up that area, it’s just an automatic four. A lot of streets in this city are fours right now.
“It just makes the city look really, really bad, especially at this time of year.”
Ethans said cigarette butts account for a whopping one-third of all litter, and disposable facemasks make up a lot of the mess this year, too.
“It is gross, and people have to take more responsibility,” he said.
“People who just walk down a street and fling their garbage down to the ground or out a car window, they just don’t care. We’ve got to get people to understand that they’ve got to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
Winnipeggers can help solve that problem by volunteering their time to help. Ethans said there are already a number of people “plogging” or “plalking” — that is jogging or walking with a trash bag in hand and picking up litter on the go.
Interested individuals and groups can also email Take Pride to sign up, get some bags and gloves, and start cleaning up the streets.
“It doesn’t take much. If every person picked up one piece of litter in Manitoba today, that’s over a million pieces of litter off the ground.”