A demonstration that blocked traffic on Higgins Avenue near Anabella Street has ended.
A spokesperson for a group of people living in an encampment in the Point Douglas area said they shut down the street Monday morning in an attempt to pressure the city into giving them a garbage bin.
Robert Russell told Global News that the group has reached out to the city for a place to dispose of trash and keep the encampment clean and sanitary, but so far nothing has been done.
If the city didn’t respond by 3 p.m., Russell said, the group intended to block traffic again
“We’re not pigs. We’re just like everyone else. We might be homeless, or we live in our tents, but we’re not out here to be pigs.
“The health hazard alone, with the rodents feasting on the garbage — it’s not healthy,” he said.
“People are driving by taking pictures and thinking that we’re pigs, and it’s not our fault. We’re waiting for the city to put up the bin so we can get rid of the garbage.”
The city sent a release out Wednesday afternoon saying, they won’t be providing a permanent garbage dumpster to the encampment.
“All parties involved, including community outreach organizations, recognize that a permanent bin is not a feasible solution here; experience has shown us that unlocked bins placed in a public space attract unintended and unwanted users, like those seeking to illegally dump renovation waste,” a city of Winnipeg spokesperson told Global News.
The statement went on to say it would consider regularly scheduled waste pick-up or one of many other options.
Russell said while it’s not the outcome the group had wanted, he believes it is a step in the right direction.
“I’m glad to hear that they’re willing to talk about a solution, that’s all we wanted was a solution to the problem.”
Russell said the group has been assured that the city would help, but as there’s been no action so far.
“This is an election year. We’re taxpayers. We also vote. This is a social issue that needs to be addressed.”
“Routine pick up would be great, we would love that, because no one wants us to keep garbage around here, it’s terrible, it’s an eyesore.”