Friday, October 22, 2010

The Visible Cleaning Of The North End

There were signs along our street last night letting us know that we could not park on the street today during the day. This happens every year at this time. It is time for the street cleaners to come down the road, remove the leaves, and give the streets one last cleaning before winter.
On my way out this afternoon I actually saw the street cleaner coming down the road. As I walked to my minivan, yes my minivan (got it back Wednesday), as I walked to my minivan I saw some other cleaning going on. One individual, wearing an orange safety vest, was picking up garbage along the side of the road, and another individual was mowing the boulevard.
I find it funny how the visible areas of the North End get cleaned. They are cleaned religiously, every spring and fall. But the not so visible areas are left out of the equation.
Do the people in City Hall make conscious decisions to clean areas that can be seen by them as they drive home from work along major arteries? How do they decide what gets cleaned on an annual, or semi-annual basis? What makes the few leaves on the front street such a high priority every spring and fall? Why are a few pieces of garbage on the front street getting picked up while the back lanes remain riddled with garbage? What makes the autobins, bulk garbage, and hidden areas such a low priority when the City decides to implement cleaning plans?
Is City Hall so compartmentalized that one department has absolutely no idea what another department is doing? Who decides the budget for street cleaners compared to the budget for autobin sanitization? Is garbage a non-issue for the City when planning fall cleanup because it has been outsourced? Is that why the back lanes of the North End are in the condition they are now in? Is the City so detatched from Waste Management that they never check if the contract they made is being upheld? Is this why my dumpster was rarely emptied prior to my contacting 311 in June? Is this why we have such problems with bulk garbage getting picked up in our back lanes? Is this why the autobins are never included in the fall clean-up of the City?
And when a citizen does take it upon themselves and do some fall cleaning of the autobins, why is it done so poorly?
My email request to 311, in requesting the cleaning and sanitizing of autobins in my back lane went as follows:
Could you please have the bins near my house sanitized. There is cat litter
stuck to the bottom of the bin at the back of xxx xxxxx Ave. There is misc
garbage stuck to the bottom of bins behind xxx xxxxx Ave and xxx xxxxx Ave. I
would like to have them cleaned and sanitized please.
I provided adequate information to let them know I wanted the bins cleaned and sanitized. I wanted the cat litter and rotting garbage removed from the bottom of the bins, and I wanted the bins sanitized. I did not expect to have sanitizing solution sprayed or tossed on top of rotting garbage. I do not consider that a job well done. I have requested a call from a supervisor of Waste Management to see why this was not done.


  1. As a former employee of the City of Winnipeg (I worked in Insect Control for 2 summers years ago), I can tell you not to expect much. I have always prided myself on my hard work ethic, so it came as a shock at how incompetetant the city is.

    A typical day for me would be to wait around the yard for 30-45 minutes (on the clock), stop by 7-11 or Tim Hortons for breakfast. Arrive at the site, spray for insect larvae in ponds. Take an hour break. Maybe do one more site, with 2 more breaks. In a 10 hour day, I would estimate the time I actually did work to be between 3-5 hours, depending on the day.

    Trust me on this. You are going to go crazy if you expect the Waste Management company to do exactly what they are contracted for. They are lazy, plain and simple. Don;t sacrifice your mental health on bureaucractic incompetetance.

  2. I disagree with the last comment, yes I am aware how many people "Beep the dog" at work, but we pay for them to do this work and we bloody well have the right to get good service, my advice is GO TO THE TOP, complaining all the way up.
    How do the "nice areas" of Winnipeg get good service ? They complain and demand and expect good service so they get it.
    I am still LMAO about depts not talking to one another, you are absolutely correct, they do not, they live in seperate silos not talking to one another.
    But lately police and by-laws & health and fire dept have started working together to close some of our most disgusting and dangerous slums in Point Douglas.
    We are also trying to get the Liquor control board to stop the overserving in the 4 bars on our bit of Main, people falling down , puking drunk still get served it is a disgrace we need to shut them down for a day each time thye overserve. Two days for the next overserving etc.

  3. The people you saw cleaning and picking up garbage were not City employees but rather people with the "It's my Community too" program (or at least I'm fairly sure that's who they were). They do not have a cleaning list from the City but rather tackle sections of the North End bit by bit. This wasn't the first time they were in and around our neighbourhood.