Vancouver awards street cleaning grants

VANCOUVER – Vancouver City Council has approved funding for seven local non-profit organizations as part of the City’s annual Street Cleaning Grant Program.

For the last 20 years, the Street Cleaning Grant Program has provided funding to non-profit organizations for micro cleaning services, which play a major role in keeping Vancouver clean, supplementing work by city crews, and provide meaningful, low-barrier job opportunities for people who need them the most.

Micro cleaning involves daily collection of difficult materials, including needles and litter using brooms, shovels, and wheeled garbage carts and offers job and job skills training for youth and adults with barriers to traditional employment. This work differs from street cleaning done by City crews, which is focused on emptying receptacles and litter collection using sweepers, flushers, or other vehicles.

The program will award $1,210,000 in grants to the following seven local non-profit organizations:

  • Save Our Living Environment – United We Can ($360,000)
  • Coast Mental Health Foundation – Employment Services Program ($330,000),
  • Mission Possible Enterprises Society – MP Maintenance ($330,000),
  • Family Services of Greater Vancouver – Street Youth Job Action ($66,000),
  • The Kettle Friendship Society – SEED Employment Program ($44,000),
  • Tides Canada Initiatives Society – The Binners’ Project ($55,000), and
  • Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative – ($25,000).

The 2019 Street Cleaning Grant Program is designed to keep the city clean and green, allow existing service providers to continue providing low threshold employment opportunities, maintain support for Business Improvement Associations (BIA) in dealing with litter city-wide, support waste diversion initiatives involving the binning community and assist in developing strategies aimed at addressing rat populations in Vancouver.

In 2018 the street cleaning grant program delivered these results:

  • Micro-cleaning of 400 City blocks and 22 BIA areas
  • 55,000 work hours to individuals with barriers to traditional employment
  • 14,800 bags of litter collected
  • 72,200 needles collected from streets and lanes
  • 81,000 littered single-use items (plastic bags, coffee cups, foam take-out containers) collected.