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Schmutz patrol

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Before I gripe about big businesses who let garbage fester around their properties, let me give a shout-out to all the volunteers who spent the weekend picking up months and months of soggy trash in West Broadway and along Omand’s Creek.

Dozens of volunteers braved Saturday morning’s crappy weather and went street by street in West Broadway, raking the trash out from around shrubs, cleaning up vacant lots, tidying around the autobins. It made a miraculous difference. The neighbourhood looks great.

Later, we were headed out for a pretty nice little Saturday afternoon at Home Depot in Polo Park when we noticed the teams out cleaning up Omand’s Creek.

Since the snow melted weeks ago, the creek, already hemmed in by concrete culverts and big box stores, has been a complete pig mess – bags, bottles, papers, coffee and Slurpee cups dangling from every shrub. It was, for me, the single worst example of Winnipeg’s post-winter slobbiness.

But on Saturday, after cleaning teams like the one from Blue Cross got done with the little creek, it was nearly perfect. Almost no garbage to be seen. Way to go, people.

It was a different story across the street at the Toys R Us. Here’s a pic of the lonely bit of landscaping around the store. The Dollar Store bag and the bit of white twine draped upon the shrub almost looks festive, doesn’t it?

Why can’t businesses spend 15 minutes and clean up around their shops?

Better yet, why can’t Winnipeggers use garbage cans?
 

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About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.

Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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