Home > About Vancouver > All News > Seven non-profit organizations to receive street cleaning grants

Seven non-profit organizations to receive street cleaning grants

January 16 2018 City of Vancouver supports low threshold employment opportunities and public realm cleanliness with grant program

"Local non-profits that provide micro cleaning services 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."

Woman helping to pick up litter from the streets

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

"I am pleased to see Council support the City's 2018 Street Cleaning Grant Program," says Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Local non-profits that provide micro cleaning services 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."

The Street Cleaning Grant Program is a long-standing program focussed on the cleanliness of the public realm and helps to advance a number of key City plans.

"For the past 19 years, the Street Cleaning Grant Program has provided funding to non-profit organizations to improve street cleanliness through micro-cleaning, " says Jerry Dobrovolny, General Manager of Engineering. "The 2018 Street Cleaning Grant Program will continue to help keep our city clean and green, allow existing service providers to continue providing low threshold employment opportunities, increase 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."

Grant recipients

The 2018 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)
  • Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative - ($25,000).

"BIAs collectively invest significant resources into keeping Vancouver's commercial districts clean and welcoming places for locals and tourists alike. Increased density and record-breaking tourism numbers contribute to a more vibrant city, but also to increased litter and debris in the public realm," says Teri Smith, Vancouver BIA Partnership. "In response, the City's BIA Mobile Micro-cleaning Program has resulted in thousands of additional bags of garbage, needles and single-use items being collected from our streets, plazas and laneways and we strongly support the report to Council recommending further expansion of the program."

About the program

2017 street cleaning grant program by the numbers:

  • Micro-cleaning of 400 City blocks and 22 BIA areas
  • 45,000 work hours to individuals with barriers to traditional employment
  • 18,400 bags of litter collected
  • 95,300 needles collected from streets and lanes
  • 43,000 single-use items (plastic bags, coffee cups, foam take-out containers)

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.

How you can do your part

While the City and partners work to keep streets clean, all residents are encouraged to pitch in by reducing waste, responsibly disposing of their waste, picking up litter or participating in the City's year-round community-based litter and graffiti reduction program - Keep Vancouver Spectacular.

Learn more about the Street Cleaning Grants Program