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Montreal street cleanup begins after early thaw leaves streets filthy

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Spring is still weeks away, but Montreal's blue collar workers are beginning to clean the streets.

Executive committee member Maja Vodanovic says they have switched from snow-clearing duties two weeks ago.

"Our blue collar workers have been at it... they're not clearing snow. So they're in our parks," she said.

Despite the city's efforts, Montrealers say they are less than impressed,

"Like look at it all over the place. Garbage, masks everywhere. You know, it's really disgusting this year, to be honest," said NDG resident Leslie Bodroghkozy.

It's a valuable teaching moment for Linda Brunetti and her grandson.

"I was telling him, it's terrible. The people throw all the garbage on the ground. I hope he never does that," she told CTV News.

Vodanovic says the thaw happened a month-and-a-half early, and the city doesn't have the right equipment available right now.

The executive committee member says the city of Montreal is actually converting some of their winter vehicles and is trying to get street sweepers on the road by mid month.

"We're going to see if we can kind of, you know, do the streets that we can with the machinery and maybe even say, no, put up, no parking, you know, snow removal, no parking signs so that we can do the streets that are really bad," she said.

Opposition leader Aref Salam says the Plante administration needs to at least do the bare minimum.

"We increased the taxes by 10 per cent, almost 10 per cent in two years, and this administration, they're not able to give us the minimum services," said Salam. "We're not asking the moon, you know, we're asking just to have a proper city that we can be proud of."

The city's official opposition also wants to see more done year-round, like deploying cleaning brigades and installing garbage bins with lids.

Vodanovic told CTV News that it is looking at changing its cleaning period.

"Now with the season changing, maybe we can do an upkeep during the year," said Vodanovic.

Meantime, Vodanovic is asking Montrealers to help clean up and to stay patient. She says this round of street cleaning will take a month to a month-and-a-half to be completed. 

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