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Free coffee offered for helping clean up downtown

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The Downtown Biz and Take Pride Winnipeg are encouraging Winnipeggers to stop littering downtown -- and you could get a free Timmies for doing it.

Today the organizations announced that through the month of November its members will reward people they see throwing garbage into a receptacle.

The reward? A $5 Tim Hortons gift card.

"We've always looked at punitive ways to stop things," said Ed Medgyes, the Biz's maintenance coordinator.

"But if we reward people it is positive reinforcement."

Tom Ethans, Take Pride's executive director, said he is hoping everybody puts litter in the right place.

"Even cigarette butts -- that's 25 to 30 per cent of the litter downtown," he said.

"They are not biodegradeable, they end up in rivers and lakes, and birds have died when they use them for their nests."

The organizations also unveiled Metro Enviro Man, a cartoon character with anti-litter messages.

As well, until Dec. 5, Metro Enviro Man is collecting pledges from people with the chance to win one of three entertainment prizes valued at $100. Go to www.downtownwinnipeg.biz for more information.

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