Calls on Greater Sudbury to take more pride in keeping city clean
“We have a beautiful city – let's not junk it up,” Matichuk said Wednesday at a morning news conference with other civic officials. “We need to have that pride back in our city.”
Each spring melt unveils a winter's worth of trash that has been strewn in various spots across the city, the mayor said. She and her husband live near an intersection and she regularly sees people throw garbage from their cars as they turn the corner, she said.
“I look at my front yard, and it makes me think I should put a sign there, 'city dump,' ” she said. “People come around the corner and just toss stuff. It's really not right to do that.”
Norm Blaseg, director of education at the Rainbow School Board, said they get students involved in cleaning up each year.
“Spring has been a longtime coming, and I think we're all ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” Blaseg said. “And cleaning up is a big part of that. We've already begun in most of our schools.”
Greater Sudbury will host its annual 20-Minute Makeover on April 25, and a cleanup blitz on May 3. But the mayor is urging residents to go beyond the organized events and make smaller efforts each day.
“It's about pride,” she said. “When I was a child, it was unacceptable to throw stuff out of the car window.
“Everybody says there's a lot of garbage. There's a lot of dirt. There's a lot of coffee cups. And that will have a huge impact on people from outside coming into our city.”
Little things like keeping a small bag in your car to hold trash rather than chucking it out of the window would make a huge difference if enough people started doing it, she said.
Matichuk said the regreening and environmental recovery that has taken place in the last 30 or 40 years is the legacy of people like Tom Davies, the former regional chair, and Bill Lautenbach, the recently retired city staffer who received the Green Champion Award for his efforts to improve the environment.
Citizens can contribute to that legacy by not treating Sudbury like a garbage can, Matichuk said. Last year during a cleanup, she said they collected 16 bags of garbage along a short stretch of Barrydowne Road.
“We're just asking people to stop doing that,” Matichuk said. “We need to start not throwing the trash out, so someone doesn't have to clean it up … We've put a lot of receptacles in the city, and it doesn't hurt if you're out for a walk or something to carry a bag with you.”
She cited the example of a woman she knows who sweeps the area around her apartment building each morning.
“To me, that's what this city is all about – it's about community pride and keeping things beautiful in our city,” she said. “Everybody working together … (So) put it in the garbage. A little bit of effort will make a difference.
“And eventually, we won't have this mess.”