Spring is officially here which also means the return of the City’s annual clean up campaign called “Keep Vancouver Spectacular” that takes place each May. This initiative began in 1996 and is now in its 20th year and was a co-ordinated effort between the City of Vancouver, Tourism Vancouver and Oceans Blue Foundation. It has evolved with a variety of sponsors over the years. People get together individually or in groups to clean up their neighbourhood streets, lanes, parks and shorelines. The City of Vancouver supplies the tools which include:
• Garbage bags
• Gloves, cleanup tools (tongs)
• Free pickup of litter collected
As a past Block Captain, there is satisfaction in everything looking green and clean in your neighbourhood. It is amazing how much garbage can be picked up with a small group of people. It is rather simple if you are the one doing the organizing. You simply go online fill out the registration form. After that, the City delivers you the requested items. Enlist a few volunteers. Designate a location that everyone in your group returns the garbage to. The City will pick up the collected garbage from that designated spot. The time commitment is what you make it, but generally 1 to 2 hours is the average. If neighbours need a little encouragement to participate, truth be told, I have enticed a few neighbours with fresh coffee and baked goodies. Organizing a clean up in your neighbourhood is a great way to get to know your neighbours and build some community.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a Block Captain, the City of Vancouver provides a Block Captain Manual which is fairly straightforward and available to download online.
Did you know, in 2012, 16,400 volunteers in 180 groups came together to fill more than 6,000 bags with litter. Remember though if at any time you see items illegally dumped, you can contact the City at 311 or email them to request the item(s) be picked up. Will you help keep the City looking spectacular?