Thanks to our volunteer street sweepers

On this Thanksgiving day, I want to openly thank the volunteers who care enough about our community that they are willing to help clean up the street. If you see them at work, please thank them yourselves.

A few months ago, during the official reopening of Roncesvalles which saw the return of the street cars, a local resident took it upon herself to start cleaning up part of the street. Maria’s voluntary effort caught the eye of our own Roncesvalles Renewed member, Mary Wiens, who figured that she would be willing to pitch in too.

It took only a few conversations before they discovered others willing to help out. Everyone agreed what a difference it would make if people from our community pitched in to pick up some litter.  Like the Earth Day Sweep, but more often.

The mechanical street sweepers don’t get it all and the City street cleaners only come around sporadically. In the meantime, litter piles up and what should be a lovely looking street, drifts into a a rather sorry looking state. It belies the spirit of this community that sincerely cares about its main street.

So our volunteers started a few weeks ago to put in some time along a few blocks to pick up litter clean up the planting beds and tree beds. Some shops along Roncesvalles have agreed to store the brooms and dustbins needed to do the job. Makes it more convenient for the volunteers.

For the time being, you can recognize them by their brooms and dustbins and they sometimes work in pairs. Makes it easier and more sociable.

If you appreciate what they’re doing, consider helping out. We welcome anyone who would like to pitch in. 15-30 minutes now and again, whenever you can, would make a difference. You can focus on a few blocks close to where you live or work. Just send us a note with your contact information and the intersection you are closest too. We tell you where the  broom and dustbin is stored on Roncesvalles and put you in touch with the lead volunteer who is looking after that part.

The more people pitch in, the less time it will take for any one volunteer. The cleaner our street, the more likely others will want to keep it that way. Well, that’s the theory which has been proven in subways and other places, so we think it will surely prove true on Roncy.

4 thoughts on “Thanks to our volunteer street sweepers

  1. great that we are cleaning the street, we should not forget that we pay taxes to have this done we should call city hall and have the city employees clean the streets more often

    • Yes, by all means, go ahead and call them. The fact is, the City is trying to cut costs everywhere. The likelihood of the City increasing shifts of street cleaners on our street and getting them to pick butts out of the cedar chips in tree beds and planting beds, I would guess, is fairly slim.

      What would help are the garbage cans we were promised. They apparently have something for disposing cigarette butts. We also need additional outdoor ash cans. Add to that a little consciousness raising among smokers who pitch it without thinking twice. Various sources have stated that cigarette filters take 18 months to 10 years to degrade.

      • Yes, in the mornings it’s like a tiny blizzard of cigarette butts outside some of the restaurants and bars. Some well designed ashtrays would make a difference. And I think they’ve got to be a little higher than those little buckets that some of the businesses are offering up as a solution.

  2. It is always wonderful when the community comes together to fill a need, and in this case it is also an appreciation of the work that has been done to beautify Roncesvalles, and a demonstration of desire to keep it looking like a bright shiny penny. Thank you to all of you.

    Personally, I don’t find Roncesvalles anywhere near as neglected as it was in the 90s. The storekeepers around then seemed to wake up to the fact that – while sometimes sweeping in front of their businesses and windexing the store window seems like a thankless job – demonstrating that you care about how the community perceives your business ethics is – well, good for business!

    Given that the all-night drinking holes are for the most part at the heart of the litter issues that plague the walk to and from school or work each morning, would it not make sense for the BIA to pressure these bar owners to clean up their own s***? I can’t imagine that the daily operations manual for any licensed establishment does not include cleaning up the discarded beer bottles, drinking glasses, cigarette butts, vomit, and prophylactics from the entrance to their premises, so as not to impede the enjoyment of Roncesvalles by the public? Don’t their liquor licenses require them to do so?

    Perhaps you are all too nice to cast aspersions, but as someone who would like to be able to enjoy a stroll on the street when the sun is out, and not trip over the detritus of the ‘night before’, or have to explain what condoms are to the kids on the way to school, I don’t have a problem with outing these businesses as behaving in a negligent and lazy fashion for leaving the clean-up til the next day – either for their day shift, or for the want of a kindness from one of the community volunteers. Good neighbours make good business.

    Call the LLBO, and start the complaints rolling in folks.

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