A nine-year-old boy is asking the city to add garbage bins after finding himself in a dog waste dilemma.
In a letter to his city councillor, Jake Hultin outlines his take on the lack of trash cans as he takes his pooch for a walk.
"I want more garbage cans because my dog poops a lot. Do you have a dog? If you do, you probably want more garbage cans, too! I have to walk very far to get (to) the one on my route. I have only one garbage can when I walk! Please, more garbage cans!" Jake recently wrote to Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood).
The letter suggests bins are needed in the Westdale area along Dale Boulevard and Cullen Drive.
The Grade 4 student told the Free Press the change would make his neighbourhood cleaner.
"There’s a lot of trash laying around here and there and it would help the environment a lot, so I think it would be pretty cool to have some more (bins)," he said, adding poop bags are generally "just smelly and not fun to carry."
Jake’s father, David Hultin, said his family noticed few options to chuck the waste of their golden doodle Maui.
"Jake took it upon himself to write the letter to the city councillor… It’s neat to see him… take an interest in this and try to find a way to make the neighbourhood a little better for everyone," said David.
In response, Klein has raised a motion that calls upon city staff to add garbage receptacles at three locations: Rannock Avenue at Dale Boulevard; Dale Boulevard at the Harte Trail and Cullen Drive north of Hammond Road.
Klein said he tried to get 10 more garbage bins added to his ward during the last budget process but the investment didn’t make the cut, so the letter convinced him to try again.
"I walk our area (too) …There’s one (garbage can) in Westwood at the Kirkfield Westwood community centre … and I’m constantly seeing that overflowing with garbage. We need more garbage receptacles. This is ridiculous," said Klein.
The Assiniboia Community Committee will discuss the motion Wednesday.
Over the last few years, multiple councillors and residents have expressed concern that Winnipeg needs more public garbage bins.
In May 2020, Coun. Markus Chambers called for the city to study how many bins were available to collect bags of dog poop along active transportation trails and determine whether the city could afford to empty them more often. Chambers deemed some bins an unsightly hazard, due to overflowing bags of pet waste.
And in May 2021, Coun. Janice Lukes called for city staff to increase trash cleanup at city parks in May 2021, when park use surged owing to the pandemic.
A September 2021 city report noted the public works department had 5,596 garbage and recycling receptacles, including 3,915 in city parks (including parks pathways), 151 along paths outside city parks and 1,530 in other public spaces (such as along right of ways).
The report notes bin placement "has not historically been particularly strategic" in Winnipeg. It estimates 85 more bins would be warranted to ensure litter bin access within 500 metres of city public spaces, at a capital cost of about $237,500.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.