ASK Wellness Society is launching a new initiative aimed at cleaning up the city streets.
Michael McDonald, a spokesperson for ASK Wellness, said their 20 Streets in 20 Days project involves small teams of the society’s staff and participants cleaning up trash from areas across Kamloops.
The project officially started Monday, and teams will be out for 20 business days throughout the month of May.
“We pulled about four and a half bags of garbage out of a stretch along Ord Road,” McDonald said of Monday’s work.
“Just through the course of the month, we're obviously going to hit all the streets that we have operations on. So Tranquille Road, Mission Flats Road, and Seymour Street downtown.”
McDonald said this program is an extension of a garbage pickup program that, for the past couple of months, has sent a team out on Fridays to clean up neighbourhoods.
“We were looking for some other way to do a bit more of that,” McDonald said.
“We actually got inspired by a fellow out of Ottawa. We found an article where he did this 30 streets in 30 days initiative, just in his neighbourhood and around town…we were like, ‘we could do something like that with our cleaning crew.’”
According to McDonald, clean up teams will be comprised of five to six people. Different ASK Wellness departments will participate, like finance and HR staff, giving them the opportunity to interact with the society’s participants they may not see otherwise.
“That's a good opportunity for all,” McDonald said.
He said due to COVID-19, they are unable to invite members of the community to participate alongside the ASK Wellness groups.
“My hope, though, if it goes well this month, is to maybe bring it back again next spring, almost like a city spring cleaning, and make it an opportunity to have some community engagement,” McDonald said.
“One of the issues in our town is all the folks that come to us for service often get painted with the same brush, and it could be a great chance to maybe connect with some community members while also doing something great for our city.”
McDonald said he wanted to give credit to the City of Kamloops for agreeing to waive dumping fees for bags of trash sent to the landfill.
“It might not seem like a lot, but when it’s at least $5 every day, it could add up when you’re doing 20 days,” McDonald said.
“They definitely came through for helping us out with that.”
McDonald said they are hoping community members can help them by suggesting streets or areas in need of cleaning.
He said people with suggestions can message ASK Wellness through their website or social media pages.