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Leaside Life became part of problem

Leaside Life litter

Hi Cheryl:

Congrats on becoming a Leaside Life columnist. Ironically, the copy of the new issue that I began perusing was one I picked up off the sidewalk on Bayview–it was litter!

Jeff Walker,
Donegall Dr.

Retail litter

Recently I received an email from a kindred litter elf. She had just read the article in Leaside Life about my litter program.

Her home backs onto Sandy Bruce Park (across from Loblaws on Moore). For several years she has taken responsibility for clearing the litter from the park in the spring and whenever she saw it getting out of control.

The worst offender, she thinks, is the Loblaws parking lot litter that blows across Moore and catches on the outside of the park fence, making it look very ugly from the road. She has wanted to speak to the Loblaws manager about the problem, but was afraid her complaints would be “blown off”.

I replied:

It’s so nice to hear from you. By chance are you the woman who thanked me for picking up litter, from your car at the corner of Rumsey and McRae, and said you cleaned up Sandy Bruce Park? Thank you too!

Here is my experience with businesses in the neighbourhood. I sometimes shop at the Loblaws on Redway Rd. Driving in there was off-putting as assorted garbage collected along the street chain link fences, the parking lot was strewn with flyers and the entrance to the store was littered with cigarette butts and cash register slips.

One day I got up the courage to speak with the manager. I told him I could no longer shop there because the litter was so unwelcoming. He totally agreed and said he had a grounds crew and would have them clean it up. The day I shopped, there was an online survey featured on the back of the register receipt, so I filled it out with the same complaint.

I don’t shop there much but I did notice that much of the litter has been cleaned up.

The Husky gas station at Malcolm and Laird was also on my radar as there was a lot of litter in the bushes and along the curbside. One day I went by, cleaned it up and handed the bag to the attendant to dispose of.

I wrote to a general Husky email address and the area manager did respond. He said that appearance was important to them and he would speak with the station manager. It is now looking better too.

I take pictures on my phone to document things and include them in my email.

So, I would say that you could go directly to the Loblaws store manager and he should not “blow you off”.

All of the corporations and organizations I have spoken with or emailed were appreciative of the feedback and did correct their actions. It is smart marketing and the right thing to do.

I hope this helps.

Cheryl

She replied, “Oh, wow. I didn’t realize someone else was cleaning up Sandy Bruce too! So, no it was not I that yelled out to you :).”

She thanked me for my advice and said that not being a techie she had never thought of taking a photo of the litter along the fence. She said it bothered her that a lot of the Loblaws flyers ended up across the road and either she, or the city or her mystery neighbour elf, had to clean it up for them. “GREAT idea about taking it over to them to deal with!”

Horse and lego litter

To whom it may concern:

The wooden rocking horse you dropped off at Trace Manes Park in January has lost its head. As it is no longer ride-able, I dragged it over to the litter bin and the city has picked it up.

I am a “glass half full” girl, so I want to believe that it gave your children hours of enjoyment and as they have outgrown it, you brought it to the park for other children to enjoy. My husband is a little more cynical and thinks you thought abandoning it in the park was an easy way to dispose of it.

I’m not quite sure why you would bring it in January as the ground is frozen and it would likely get buried in snow and I don’t know how well the finish would have held up when wet. Just thought you might like to know in case you drop by sometime and wonder what happened to it.

And to the person who dropped off one shoe box full of Lego pieces and one shoe box full of small cars and trucks, on a cold January day, I’m not sure what were you thinking.

If you left them there by accident, I have both boxes and will happily return them. If you left them there for children to play with, it’s a bit cold outside to assemble Lego and it’s likely the hundreds of pieces would have ended up all over the ground for either the library staff or me to pick up.

If you were hoping someone would take them home to enjoy, next time consider donating items to Goodwill. For now my grandchildren will enjoy them when they come over to visit.