Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Mayor Bowman, and City Partners Celebrate Improved Downtown Cleanliness Stats, and Announce Enhanced Services for 2015


March 16, 2015


Downtown Winnipeg – Graffiti and litter removal, bus shelter pressure washing, sidewalk sweeping, and plowing of ice and light snow on major sidewalks during the winter, are all under control in our downtown, thanks to partnerships with the City of Winnipeg and Mayor Bowman, Metro News, and increased crews and equipment led by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and its Metro Enviro-Team.

Today, as a result of these collective efforts, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and its members, along with the City of Winnipeg, celebrated improved downtown cleanliness stats and announced enhanced services for 2015:

23% improvement in public perception of downtown’s cleanliness since 2004
· 2004: 63% of people said downtown was clean
· 2007: 82% of people said downtown was clean
· 2013: 86% of people said downtown was clean

The Metro Enviro-Team crews spray down awnings, building facades, bus shelters, doors and windows in minutes, helping to improve the perception of cleanliness for those coming into the downtown. Sidewalks and paths to paystations are also cleared of litter and snow to improve mobility and safety. The Metro Enviro-Team also clears snow in key pedestrian areas of the downtown immediately once snow falls, spreads sand to address icy conditions, and chips away ice from gathering points like bus stops and curb ramps.

# Bus Shelters Cleaned
· 2013: 4,816
· 2014: 5,680
· 2015 goal: 6,912 (29 bus shelters visited daily, five days a week)

# Sidewalks Cleaned by Nilfisk
· 2012: 937
· 2013: 1,874
· 2014: 3,360
· 2015 goal: 4,000

# Paths to Paystations Cleared of Snow
· 2013: 1,110
· 2014: 1,110
· 2015 goal: 1,110

Tag, you’re out! Two Metro Enviro-Team members are dedicated to fighting graffiti year round in our downtown. They pressure wash buildings and match paint samples to remove tags and keep downtown looking great. With a response time of 12 to 24 hours, with highest priority given to key downtown image routes, the Metro Enviro-Team is sending a message that we are taking care of our downtown.

# Graffiti Tags Removed
· 2011:1,538
· 2012: 2,009
· 2013: 2,218
· 2014: 4,289

The Metro Enviro-Team picks up about 125 cigarette butts and six cigarette packages on each block of downtown each day. To help fight cigarette butt litter, the Metro Enviro-Team installs and maintains receptacles throughout the downtown, giving people more opportunities to dispose of their cigarette butts conveniently as well as responsibly to reduce to the incidence of littering.

# Cigarette Butt Receptacles Installed
· 2012: 5
· 2014: 12
· 2015 goal: 20

There are 13 poster boards located on Portage Ave. and Graham Ave., maintained and managed by the Metro Enviro-Team, that provide community groups an opportunity to share and promote their events and activities.

# Posters Removed from Hydro Poles
· 2012: 2,679
· 2013: 3,939
· 2014: 4,530
· 2015 goal: Remove outdated posters from poster boards 360 times (each board every second week)

In 2014, the Metro Enviro-Team’s cleanliness services downtown evolved from 5 days/week to 7 days/week throughout the summer, with a full-time staff component of 12 and 8 seasonal staff. In 2015, a goal of 18 full-time and 4 seasonal staff will ensure our goal of enhanced evening and weekend cleanliness is met, with dedicated attention throughout the winter.

Metro Enviro-Team Staff
· 2009: 8
· 2014: 20 (12 full-time, 8 seasonal)
· 2015 goal: 22 (18 full-time, 4 seasonal)

“The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Metro Enviro-Team are instrumental in keeping our downtown clean and making it an exciting and vibrant place where people want to work and live,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “The City of Winnipeg is proud to partner with the BIZ and thanks the dedicated members of the Metro Enviro-Team for all their commitment and efforts to make the heart of our city an even cleaner, thriving place for Winnipeggers to enjoy.”

“Cleanliness is a top concern for our members and the public but the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s dedicated Metro Enviro-Team has a good handle on it so it doesn’t appear visually as an issue downtown,” says Stefano Grande, Executive Director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “We want to make sure our sidewalks are better than satisfactory, that snow is cleared during the winter to enhance safety and enjoyment for visitors, that flowers are tended to, and storefronts and bus shelters are pressure washed to provide those coming downtown with a positive impression. Revitalizing downtown is about engaging everyone to do their part in keeping our downtown clean and safe for all to enjoy.”

About the Metro Enviro-Team

Downtown cleanliness is a priority for the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, which sees 20 Metro Enviro-Team staff dedicated to litter removal, sidewalk sweeping, flower watering and tending, graffiti removal, poster removal, and clean downtown’s sidewalks every day. Starting at 6:30 in the morning, sidewalk machines sweep and wash downtown, and in the winter two snow plows clear major sidewalks of ice and light snow.

2 person daily bus shelter cleaning crew
2 person dedicated graffiti removal team
2 SHED (Sports, Hospitality, and Entertainment District) operators
7 general labourers
2 person sidewalk sweeper team (summer) / sidewalk snow removal team (winter)
5 person Streetscape Team
1 Clean Team Supervisor and 1 Maintenance Coordinator
4 homeless people transitioned into full-time employment as members of the Enviro Clean-Team, through funds raised through the CEO Sleepout

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For more information, please contact:
Jason Syvixay, Managing Director
Tel: (204) 958-4635; Cell: 997-3040