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Surrey mayor wants residents to pick up litter

Doug McCallum is calling on Surreyites to commit 20 minutes each week
Volunteers helping to clean up garbage and some illegal dumping in Surrey on March 7, 2020. (Lauren Collins - Black Press Media)

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is asking all Surrey residents to spend 20 minutes each week picking up litter in their neighbourhood.

“The citizens are proud of their city and they want to keep their city clean and so they’re willing to pitch in and help us keep our city clean,” he said at Monday’s council meeting. “All we’re asking is each person spend 20 minutes a week around their house, or around their business or wherever they are, just spend 20 minutes each week to pick up the litter that’s around your street. If we all work together we will have a very clean city.”

The 2021 Love Where You Live Campaign is set to launch on April 22. The city launched its first in 2019, and within six months 5,000 bags of trash were removed from Surrey’s streets and parks, 4,400 pieces of illegally dumped junk were collected from all over the city, 1,000 tonnes was collected at Pop-Up Junk Events and 600 pounds of waste was swapped.

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Meanwhile, 13,00o trees and some 1,000 flower bulbs were planted, 1,700 street banners and 2,000 feet of decorative lights were installed and more than 650 bags of invasive plants were removed. Last year, city staff cleaned up more than 208 kilometres of Surrey roadways, picking up 2,000 bags of litre, and also removed garbage that was dumped illegally at 7,459 sites throughout the city. Also, more than 10,000 trees and flower bulbs were planned through the Bulbs for Beauty and Releaf planting programs.

At Monday’s meeting council also asked staff to set up a Request for Proposals to award a new waste collection contract to provide service to 106,500 single-family households, 31,000 secondary suites and more than 35,000 apartments.

“It’s the biggest contract in the city that we award,” McCallum noted. “It’s a really big, big, important, important contract that we have to deal with in our term anyways.”

Surrey’s general manager of engineering Scott Neuman said the city is seeking a seven-year contract with an option for three more years.

City Manager Vince Lalonde said the city is looking to improve services through every new contract. “Our philosophy going in is trying to be even more environmentally sustainable and responsible while increasing services as we have over the last few years,” he said.

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Tom Zytaruk

About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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