‘It’s gross’: Winnipeg streets are dirtier than usual, according to annual litter index

As the snow melts in Winnipeg, residents are once again seeing the exposed garbage on the ground — and there’s a lot of it.

Tom Ethans, executive director of Take Pride Winnipeg, told 680 CJOB’s The Start that according to his organization’s annual Litter Index, there’s more trash on city streets than last year.

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.

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“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.

Read more: City of Winnipeg and community groups prepare for late spring cleaning

“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.

Garbage is seen piled up behind a Winnipeg apartment building. Rudi Pawlychyn/Global News

“It is gross, and people have to take more responsibility,” he said.

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“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.”

Click to play video: 'Take Pride Winnipeg anticipates a ‘dirtier year’ for litter this spring' Take Pride Winnipeg anticipates a ‘dirtier year’ for litter this spring

Take Pride Winnipeg anticipates a ‘dirtier year’ for litter this spring – Mar 17, 2022


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