Monday, April 7, 2014

Calgarians being asked to be a good neighbour

After an exceptional winter, and record amounts of snow and gravel on Calgary’s roadways, more than ever, The City of Calgary is asking that Calgarians “be a good neighbour”.

Keeping Calgary clean is a collaborative effort and The City is asking all Calgarians to help make the city a beautiful place to live by doing their part― move vehicles and blue and black carts from the street when sweeping is scheduled.

To keep the 2014 tax increase down, council had asked City administration last fall to find savings across all departments. The discussion and planning for cuts actually began last summer, and last Monday, March 31, 2014, Council reviewed the proposals and approved the reduction to the Spring Clean-up (street sweeping) program.

The program has been reduced by $700,000 or 10 per cent.

The Transportation department proposed the reduction to the Spring Clean-up program because it has the least impact on citizen safety when compared to other programs like pothole repair, streetlighting or paving.
The City’s annual Spring Clean-up program is scheduled to start on April 22, 2014, weather permitting. All streets will be swept. The program will experience some changes due to the budget reduction, including:

  • Each road will only be swept once. If a service request is received for a second pass (parked cars or blue/black carts on the road resulting in debris left behind), crews will not be able to accommodate these requests. 
  • Vehicles will not be towed. Cars that remain parked on roadways during scheduled street cleaning will no longer be towed. Debris left from sweeping around parked cars will be left behind. This change alone results in roughly $250,000 of savings for The City.
  • Spring Clean-up activities will extend through the summer months. In past years, crews have completed street sweeping in time for Stampede. Due to the changes in resources this season, crews will continue street sweeping activities after Stampede and throughout the summer months. The significant amount of snow we’ve had has also delayed our start.

If debris is left behind because a car or cart has not been moved and you want to be a good neighbour, you can sweep the debris yourself. If you decide to sweep missed debris yourself, please follow these suggestions from Waste & Recycling:

  • When cleaning up gravel, dust, rocks and other debris put all materials into a garbage bag. This will help keep the air free of dust and keep our collection vehicles clean as well.
  • Rocks and other material may be heavy and needs to be double-bagged to avoid punctures and rips in the bags.
  • For your collector’s safety, make sure your bags are not overweight and place all debris inside your black cart for removal.

Although Spring Clean-up’s official start date is April 22, you may see sweepers sooner in your area as crews take advantage of the fair weather for winter sweeping.

To find out when sweeping is scheduled for your community, watch for signs in your area, visit or contact call 3-1-1.

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