Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.622.5868
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 4:16 p.m.
The City of Spokane is now using a more high profile approach to deal with downtown’s litter problem.
“So the mayor’s initiative did call for additional staff so we can try to resource this correctly for the impacts we’re seeing right now,” said Luis Garcia of Spokane Code Enforcement.
That means hiring more temp-season employees like Jordan Harris.
The former grounds keeper’s family loves Spokane’s outdoor attractions and Harris picks up garbage to make them safer for his kids to enjoy.
“Just seeing the smile on people’s faces once we’ve completed our job picking up the litter. That’s what I like,” Harris said with a smile.
On average, Harris’ crew picks up a thousand pounds of litter every day but only the material people no longer claim as their possessions.
“Not trying to take anyone’s personal property. Everybody has a right to maintain their personal property. We are more concerned about the health and safety of the public at large, trying to remove some of the waste material that is present,” explained Garcia.
Some businesses are trying to reduce the amount of discarded waste by locking up their dumpsters.
“It’s caged in because the homeless people kept getting into it, and going through it, and then throwing it all over the place,” Marvin Syzemore said of his fenced in dumpster.
That’s one reason why the City of Spokane started offering downtown businesses locking trash cans because material like cardboard can be scavenged for bedding.
“So I think that is a constant improving opportunity. Improvement opportunity for those downtown businesses to work with Solid Waste collection to get the best location that is going to be conducive to collection, as well as security for those who are passing by,” added Garcia.
The rest of us could unwittingly be a part of the litter problem as well. Our generous handouts fund purchases that create new problems.
Even donated doggie bags can eventually become litter and create a little more work for Harris and his crew.
“Long story, short. We just like to keep the city clean. You know we have a lot of visitors coming here and you know, it’s just a good presence for all of us that stay here in Spokane,” Harris concluded.
If you would like a job helping Harris, and others, keep our community cleaner, contact Spokane Code Enforcement or view more information online.