Ward 1 and 3 cleanups going ahead next week

Ward 3 Coun. Evert Botha has partnered with Loraas Environmental Services for the two consecutive years he's organized a community cleanup for Pitch-In Week. (Evert P. Botha, Councillor for Ward 3 Prince Albert/Facebook)

The City of Prince Albert will look a whole lot cleaner after next week.

Pitch-In Prince Albert is still set for May 4-10. The annual week is a time residents are encouraged to pick up the litter left behind after the winter and tidy up their yards.

While pitch-in week is still going ahead, it won’t look the same as last year.

According to a press release, the city is encouraging residents to go out and pick up garbage, but to do it alone or with household members only.

“Typically we would be encouraging groups to get together at this time of year to pick up litter left behind after the winter,” said Mayor Greg Dionne.

“This year we are strongly encouraging people NOT to get together and to respect the need for social distancing. As such, the City’s annual downtown Pitch-in event has been cancelled.”

Residents are still encouraged to get out and pick up litter if they can, but to do it alone or with their household and to dispose of it with their household garbage in their green bins. The city will not be handing out garbage bags or gloves this year.

Weekly garbage pick-up starts on May 4.

The city also said that if residents encounter a needle, they can pick it up themselves if they are comfortable using step-by-step guidelines at citypa.ca/pitch-in or contact Access Place at 306-765-6533.

While the city has cancelled its downtown event, the councillors for Wards 3 and 1 are still going ahead with their annual neighbourhood cleanup — just with a social distancing twist.

“I’ve reached out to the Saskatchewan Health Authority so they’ve given us some guidelines,” said Ward 3 Coun. Evert Botha.

“Based on the last two years we’ve had the community cleanups, there is a need for residents who have ample material that they have accumulated over the last year to have these drop-off locations. I think everyone has been locked down for the better part of the last month to six weeks so everyone wants to get going and are going with cleaning up their properties.”

This year, Botha said collection teams won’t be sent out so volunteers aren’t put at risk. He added that signs will be posted at the drop-off location advising anybody sick to say away. Social distancing will be maintained and hand sanitizer will be provided. No more than ten people will be allowed at the drop-off location at any time.

To help with this, a new location has been chosen for the Ward 3 clean-up. Bins will be set up in the empty lot off of 15th Street East, across from Dr. Java’s Coffee House. It will be accessible from 4th Ave. East only.

Botha said residents will have to be patient as the number of people at the drop-off site will be restricted.

“As long as we abide by the restrictions and parameters set forth by the SHA, we’re all in the clear,” he said. if there’s a little bit of a delay, just understand that it is for the safety of all and we want to make sure it runs smoothly.”

The annual Ward 1 cleanup will also see a new dropoff location.

Coun. Charlene Miller said residents in that part of the city can drop off their waste at St. Michael Church parking lot at 1505 13 Street West. She has also ended community pickups this year.

“We’re not gathering in groups at all and making sure we have hand sanitizer and gloves,” Miller said.

She stressed the importance of the annual cleanup.

“In the beginning, I wanted to do this because I wanted to clean up the ward. (The reason) is the same today — to keep it up and make sure that if people need it, they can use it.”

If you don’t live in Wards 1 or 3, Botha said you can still do your part.

‘Anyone who has a water utility bill from the city can use those vouchers to rump for free at the city’s landfill,” he said.

“As long as we practice social, physical distancing measures, we don’t mix and mingle unnecessarily, we can all participate and be safe and responsible during cleanup. We have a lot of residents that take pride in their properties and want to get rid of the stuff that is cluttering their back lane or their garage or their yard. It’s important to maintain this.”

 “It’s important we take care of the earth,” Miller said. “That’s where it begins.”

Botha thanked residents of Midtown and East Flat who have participated previously.

“It would be great to see this initiative expanded to other wards and more councillors get involved in this, but I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made for Midtown and East Flat. Each year we get a little bit closer to cleaning up the neighbourhood.”

The Ward 1 cleanup runs May 4-9 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Bins will be provided for leaves and grass, garbage and metal. Contact Charlene Miller at 981-3636 or ward1@citypa.com to volunteer or if you have any questions.

 The Ward 3 cleanup runs from May 7-10 and will take yard waste, garbage, metal and appliances and recyclables such as cans and bottles. The cans and bottles will be kept in a secured container and proceeds will be donated to the YWCA Prince Albert. Tires will not be accepted this year. To volunteer, contact Pam Hanson at 961-6762 or ward3princealbert@shaw.ca, or Evert Botha at 980-5387 or ward3@citypa.com..