The city of Calgary is once again supplying various communities with the resources necessary to keep their streets clean.
This year’s annual spring cleaning will be starting this weekend, and running throughout mid-June.
Spring community cleanup is a yearly event in which the city of Calgary provides communities with support and resources to help dispose of items that would otherwise be taken to the landfill. These community cleanups take place on Saturdays and Sundays throughout spring.
Two to three different Calgary communities are scheduled for this cleanup every weekend. For each event, three packer trucks with crews and funds will be provided, as well as other necessities, such as trash bags and disposable gloves.
Matt Zabloski, lead of the policy and bylaws development team at the city of Calgary, is spearheading this year’s spring cleaning.
“Calgarians work hard to keep their city clean and safe, and we want to support them in those efforts,” he said.
“It’s certainly something that we hear a lot of positive feedback from the community associations that we partner with every year.”
However, these cleanups don’t just serve one purpose. Zabloski says that community cleanups encourage residents to build community with one another.
“I think it’s that idea of building neighbourhoods at the same time. You get out there and you meet the volunteers who are out there supporting the cleanings from the community association’s perspective,” Zabloski said.
“I suppose that surrounding all this is just that sense of getting out after a long winter and interacting with a neighbour.”
Zabloski also mentions how cleanups help residents dispose of waste while following city bylaws.
“Initially, there was a focus on maintaining tidy properties and ensuring proper disposal of household items. Our goal was to provide alternatives to illegal dumping,” he said.
“One of the driving factors was to help the city and citizens work together in order to support compliance with city bylaws”.
Community associations around the city use spring cleaning tidy the streets but also build a sense of community.
Carlos Arce-Abrego, director of community pride at the Marlborough Community Association, said cleaner neighborhoods foster community pride.
“What we do is to make sure that this annual cleanup is something that is easy, accessible and free, so that they can get rid of the stuff they don’t need, and take pride in their community that they help make better,” he says.
“People tend to even go by the alleys and pick up garbage, just so they can take it here. It’s something that I think every neighbour should be doing.”
Arce-Abrego also believes that a cleaner neighborhood encourages residents to enjoy the neighborhood’s amenities.
“Having a clean community makes it so more people and their families would like to spend time together in their communities,” he said
“If a community is clean, it makes a big difference.”
The City of Calgary has more details regarding the schedule of the cleanings, as well as what items are appropriate to dispose.