Rain or shine, Friday, April 19 is York U’s annual 20-Minute Makeover day

garbage bags

20minutemakeovergloveAs part of its annual spring cleanup prior to Earth Day, everyone in the University community is challenged to help out for 20 minutes on Friday, April 19, to collect all the litter left behind as the snow melts. Join friends and colleagues and pitch in to give the University’s Keele and Glendon campuses a bit of  “spit and polish” as part of the annual 20-Minute Makeover.

The Grounds Department in Campus Services & Business Operations (CSBO) is once again inviting everyone to help with the annual “green over” – it’s a big sweep of the key areas on the Keele and Glendon campuses where winter has left blown bags, trash and other unwanted debris.

Woodlot green over

This year, there are several options to choose from. As it was with last year’s effort, many in the University community focused their efforts on the campus woodlot periphery along the roads. There are designated meeting spots for faculty, staff and students who want to tackle the woodlots. The clean up begins at 2pm on Friday. Volunteers should come to designated meeting spots at 2pm on Friday, April 19 to pick up gloves and a bag.

At the Keele campus, the meeting spots are:

  • Sentinel Road at Assiniboine Road, just south of the Assiniboine Apartments, and south of York Parking Lots, along the border with the Village;
  • Arboretum;
  • Boyer Woodlot;
  • Danby Woods; and
  • Boynton Woods.

For a map indicating the meeting locations at Keele campus, click here.

At Glendon, community members are asked to meet at 2pm outside Glendon Hall Manor.

Do you know where your butt goes?

Winter has also left behind the evidence of tobacco waste in places where it doesn’t belong — at the entrances to buildings, in gardens and around seating areas.  Tobacco waste is a growing concern, mainly due to toxicity of the cigarette butts, leaching toxins into the soil and ground water.  It’s a human and environmental health issue, and it detracts from the quality of the University’s public areas. Volunteers can help clean up the areas around their buildings and the surrounding grounds. Why not bring to the attention of smokers that tobacco waste is waste and it belongs in the receptacles, away from entrances.  If you are organizing a clean-up effort for cigarette butts, contact Meagan Heath, waste management supervisor, at 416 736-2100 ext. 33276 or mheath@yorku.ca  for materials and assistance.

Don’t forget to capture your efforts on film.  CSBO Grounds is donating a ZeroWaste prize pack to the group with the best photo.

Safety tips

  • Wear appropriate and protective clothing (boots, gloves etc.).
  • Wear a hat or sunscreen if necessary.
  • Pick up litter in your gloved hand and carry the trash bag in the other.
  • Do not pick up strange articles that may be dangerous. Don’t pick up anything that looks sharp (e.g. broken bottles or needles).
  • Do not take any risks attempting to reach litter in hard-to-get-to places (up a tree, down a steep incline, in rapidly flowing water, on slippery surfaces etc.)

For more information, visit the Grounds, Fleet and Waste Management web page. To learn more about York’s efforts in sustainability, visit the Sustainability @ York website.