City's 20-Minute Toronto Makeover gaining momentum in fight against litter |
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The first phase of the City of Toronto's Clean City, Beautiful City program
initiative is taking off as residents, businesses and institutions sign on to
help clean up our city. The 20-Minute Toronto Makeover asks employees, students
and citizens to get outside for 20 minutes at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 23, and
pick up litter around their workplace, school or home.
Since the initiative was announced, seven businesses have stepped forward to
sponsor the event. The City is grateful to Home Depot, Tim Hortons, Toronto
Star, The Beer Store, Pizza Pizza, The Toronto Sun and McDonald's for their
support. The seven sponsoring companies will provide supplies such as garbage
bags and gloves, serve as distribution points for those supplies, and assist
with promotion. Their logos will appear on City ads promoting the event, and on
the garbage bags provided to participants.
Although formal advertising has not yet been launched, momentum is building.
Dozens of organizations representing thousands of people have heard the buzz
and have already called to inquire or to register for the event.
Why are people giving 20 minutes for Toronto? Litter is making headlines, and
the message is we've all had enough. Citizens are expressing their view in
forum after forum that litter clashes with civic pride and prosperity, and that
the quality of public space-from parks and laneways to schoolyards and civic
property-matters to everyone.
"In January, we held public budget consultations called Listening to Toronto -
and we were told that cleaner streets and a cleaner city are important to
Torontonians. I've heard you," said Mayor David Miller. "The 20-Minute Toronto
Makeover is an event whose timing is exactly right. We're all partners in the
battle against litter and against the attitudes that allow it. The makeover
offers a way each of us can take personal action-something Toronto residents
yearn to do-and rediscover our pride in a clean and beautiful city. I predict
that during the coming year, those 20 minutes of anti-litter activities will
Councillor Jane Pitfield, Chair of the Clean Streets Working Group, agrees.
"Anything that motivates people to take action is a positive first step, and
I'm certain that the 20-Minute Toronto Makeover will encourage greater
awareness about litter. But it is just a first step. The most important thing
we can do to achieve a clean city is to change people's attitudes. We need
education at all levels, especially in schools. It has to start with each of
The City is providing specially-produced litter bags for the April 23rd event.
Participants will be able to pick up small-sized and large-sized litter bags at
selected retail outlets along with gloves.
The City of Toronto also continues to promote Mayor Miller's Community Clean-up
Day on Saturday, April 24, an annual event now in its sixth year, which asks
students, friends, co-workers and neighbours to organize a get-together where
everyone pitches in to pick up litter in a public space in their neighbourhood.
Organizations-whether corporate groups or schools-must register for either
event by calling Access Toronto at 416-338-0338. Registration allows the
City's Solid Waste Management staff to make arrangements to haul away the
litter collected. Residents can simply place their bagged litter out with
their regular household garbage on their regular collection day.
More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/litter. And as always,
residents and businesses can report litter hot spots by calling 416-39-CLEAN.
Geoff Rathbone, Director, Policy and Planning, Solid Waste Management Services