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Seattle launches city streets clean-up plan

Data from Seattle Public Utilities’ illegal dumping programme shows an almost 200 per cent increase in the volume of material collected from Q2 to Q3 2020.

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Seattle Clean Cities initiative includes plans to create four “community clean” teams
Seattle Clean Cities initiative includes plans to create four “community clean” teams

Seattle has released a proposal for a “Clean Street Initiative” to help tackle deteriorating conditions on its streets and city parks.

 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, through a combination of increases in trash and litter at parks, reduced staffing due to Covid-19 safety, and a lack of volunteer opportunities for residents, the City reports significant challenges addressing litter, illegal dumping, and trash remediation.

 

Illegal dumping

 

Data from Seattle Public Utilities’ illegal dumping programme shows an almost 200 per cent increase in the volume of material collected from Q2 to Q3 2020.

 

In response, the mayor Jenny Durkan announced a series of actions the City can take within the current budget and some actions that would require additional appropriation from City Council to invest in a “surge of cleaning efforts” in parks and public spaces over the next eight months.

 

Following City Council approval of additional funds, this plan would include: a doubling of trash pick-up routes; formation of a rapid response team within Seattle Parks and Recreation to address trash in parks; and make infrastructure improvements in key parks to improve overall cleanliness.

“Our parks have become an important refuge for Seattle residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is critical we keep our parks and playgrounds safe and accessible to all”

Funding would also be directed to business districts throughout the city to increase contracted cleaning in their neighbourhoods.

 

“Hearing from community members all over the city that more needs to be done to clean our public rights of way and parks, departments across the city have been working for weeks on a comprehensive plan that can be quickly implemented,” said mayor Durkan.

 

“Our parks have become an important refuge for Seattle residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is critical we keep our parks and playgrounds safe and accessible to all.”

 

The City also plans to create four “community clean” teams to provide cleaning, graffiti abatement, and grounds maintenance services to a dedicated quadrant of the city. The joint effort would be informed by various departmental data sources to provide a coordinated, rapid response to address hotspots throughout the city.

 

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