When your community gets a helping hand to tidy things up, it’s not just the streets, parks, and other public areas that get a boost - civic pride does too.
And that’s what Goodbye Garbage™ is providing in the Squamish area, when it holds its Community Cleanup Day this October.
On Oct. 15, Goodbye Garbage™ will be on-site at the staging area in Coho Park (40460 Parkway Rd.) starting at 10 a.m., to meet volunteers and provide gloves, garbage bags, hand sanitizer, and buckets to collect garbage.
“We will also be handing out routes so the volunteers can go to areas like Brackendale, Garibaldi Highlands, downtown Squamish, and Valley Cliff,” says Lisa Stoll, program manager at Goodbye Graffiti™.
Goodbye Graffiti™ is the parent company that first opened in 1997. It now has franchises across Canada and in 2020, spawned Goodbye Garbage™, a collection and removal service.
“After 25 years of cleaning up graffiti and stepping over all the garbage in those areas, we decided it was time to take care of that, too,” Stoll says. “We are taking our experience in customer service and offering a blue-collar garbage removal service, along with a strong sense of social and environmental responsibility.”
And that means Goodbye Garbage™ is not simply picking up refuse and sending it on its way to the dump.
“We try to recycle and up-cycle in every way possible. That’s our main focus - keeping stuff out of the landfill as much as possible,” Stoll says.
“It does take a lot more effort, but our crews are so efficient. When they are loading up a truck, they will put things aside and come back, if needed, and make a separate trip to the recycling depot,” she adds.
“If it takes an extra minute or two, that’s OK.”
Goodbye Graffiti™ and Goodbye Garbage™ also help bolster the community by proudly mandating the hiring of differently-abled adults.
“We are the first franchise in North America to do that,” Stoll says.
And, every employee that works for Goodbye Garbage™ is paid a living wage, if not more.
On the Oct. 15 Community Cleanup Day in Squamish, Goodbye Garbage™ employees will head out to each area marked out on the routes to collect bags filled by the volunteers, even taking away larger items.
“Essentially, it’s a community effort to help us clean up the district and make things nice and tidy,” Stoll says.
“It’s funny how when you are not paying attention, you don’t notice certain things,” she says. “But as soon as you point it out, like graffiti or garbage in public areas, you notice other examples of the same thing almost everywhere.
“With so many instances of illegal dumping, you will be amazed at how much garbage accumulates in our communities. And our Community Cleanup Day will be a way of people getting together to make a difference.
“It’s great to work for a company that can give back to the community - which has been so good to us - in a very meaningful way.”
If you are coming down to lend a hand, make sure to wear weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes.
For more information about Goodbye Garbage™ and the Community Cleanup Day, visit goodbyegarbagecanada.com.