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Exciting things are happening in Ashgrove!
A group of tenants have volunteered to help keep the community clean. Their focus? The garbage area.
One tenant decided they had enough with the mess, so armed with gloves, an orange vest, an outside broom, a dustpan, and garbage bags – he started cleaning.
The motivated tenant, Shakir, grew up in the Ashgrove community – the third child of nine – and he moved back to the community in 2018 to help his mother care for his younger brother and sister.
“It wasn’t until 2020 that I really started to notice the issues with the waste,” Shakir, said recounting a story of a mother and son having to navigate around waste sitting in front of the bin.
After a while, he got to know other tenants. Eventually, he figured out why some people were leaving trash in front of the bin.
“A lot of mothers were having their kids take the trash out, and they couldn’t lift the bag all the way to the bin,” he said, so he handed out extra bags and suggested they don’t fill them too much, so the kids could lift the bags to the bin. And, if one did end up in front of the bin, he was there to help out.
After a while, other residents started helping out as well. Jim who lives in the new row of townhouses at the front of the community – started cleaning litter left out in the front of the community – while Shakir and other resident volunteers take care of the older area. “If everyone picks up any small litter when they see it, our neighborhood will stay beautiful forever”, Jim says with his trademark smile.
Shakir also enlisted the help of children from Ashgrove and neighbouring communities.
Shakir also enlisted the help of a few incredible children including, Ali, Salim, Ahmed, Faiza, Afy & Amar; all of whom were born and raised in Ashgrove. They helped paint new lines in front of the dumpsters to keep the bin area clean and organized, and pick up litter every weekend.
Shakir noticed that people from outside the community would come at night and leave construction materials. He flagged this as a concern and OCH installed a “no illegal dumping” sign.
The next step for Shakir is to convince residents to sign up for green bins from the City. Green bins had been distributed in the community by the Community Development team.
To increase uptake, Shakir has helped to answer questions and has now convinced six more families in his block to use their green bins.
For Shakir, it is not about personal praise; he’s quick to highlight the contributions of the rest of the community that drove the actual change. He’s happy to see how everyone came together and the impact it has made.
“We all have a part to play to keep our community beautiful for the next generation.”
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