Launching on May 6, the city is starting the “Love Where You Live,” which is a clean-up and beautification initiative. (Photo: Now-Leader file)

Surrey to launch city-wide clean-up, beautification initiative

Mayor asks residents to spend 20 minutes a week picking up litter

Do you “Love Where You Live?”

Well, a new city-wide initiative is hoping Surrey residents do.

Launching on May 6, the city is starting “Love Where You Live,” a clean-up and beautification initiative. According to a corporate report, it will be an annual event from May to October.

The month-long launch will include events such as the kick-off, community clean-up, a school clean-up challenge, Telus Days of Giving, Kindness to Earth Clean-up, all-season placemaking lighting (decorative lighting in areas of high-pedestrian activity, a Surrey street banner launch and a city-wide clean-up blitz.

Following the launch, according to the report, the focus will shift to a different community for the remaining five months. The community clean-up and beautification projects will include a neighbourhood clean-up pilot project, a 20-minute clean-up challenge, “Love Where You Live” partnership day and a city-wide clean-up blitz.

Then in September, the city will introduce two new programs on a pilot basis “as a measure to reduce the amount of waste generated and found illegally dumped.”

On Sept. 14, the city will pilot a “Repair Café” where residents can bring items that need to be repaired while working with “repair specialists.” There will be several stations including small appliances, bikes and computers and electronics.

On Sept. 21, the city will host a “Reuse Swap Meet” for residents and businesses to recycle unwanted household items, pick up reused goods, donate to charity, reduce illegal dumping and increase waste diversion.

The report says the city will continue to hold the popular pop-up junk events.

READ ALSO: Surrey’s Pop Up Junk Drop events shift to Sunday this year, March 14, 2019

According to the report, city cleanliness and beautification are “an important part of community enhancement and civic pride which ensures a cleaner, greener and healthier community for residents and businesses.”

“In addition, outside the basic aesthetics and appearance of the City, it enhances perception of safety, deters nuisance behaviour, reduces negative effects on the environment and encourages economic development opportunities,” the report says.

The city, according to the report, currently has various clean-up programs and services.

Mayor Doug McCallum described the project as “tremendous.”

“It’s also going to include, though, participation by our public and businesses,” he said at council on Monday (April 15). “We’re going to ask each of you to spend 20 minutes a week and go out around your house or around your business, or help out in the nearest park or your nearest street, just to give us 20 minutes once a week to pick up the litter.”

McCallum said residents will also see members of council out in the streets picking up litter.

“We want everyone to be involved in it so when we work together as a community, we’ll make our city a lot cleaner, and thereby helping make it safer also. I think it’s a tremendous program.”

At the meeting, Councillor Jack Hundial said council has heard from the comunity that the city does have “some pretty remarkable initiatives to help clean up Surrey.”

Laurie Cavan, parks, recreation and culture general manager, said the initiative is a partnership between her department and the engineering department.

“We really wanted to take a focus on cleaning up in the city, we know we’ve been hearing that from mayor and council that that would be an important initiative,” Cavan said.

“The focus is to show the city’s commitment to clean up and to achieve this through community engagement and we’ll be providing resources for individuals to engage in clean-up whether that’s new community associations or existing organizations in the city. There will be lots more to come on that,” she added.

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