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The McGill Daily - - Contents -

Mil­ton-parc, the neigh­bour­hood, lo­cated ad­ja­cent to Mcgill’s down­town cam­pus en­com­passes the area be­tween Sher­brooke and Pins (north/south) and Univer­sity to St Lau­rent (west/ east). Of­ten re­ferred to as the “Mcgill Ghetto,” the neigh­bour­hood was in­hab­ited by an es­ti­mate of 1,500 Mcgill stu­dents in 2010, and con­tin­ues to be oc­cu­pied by stu­dents, who re­side in the com­mu­nity as tem­po­rary res­i­dents. While most in­hab­i­tants of Mil­ton-parc are per­ma­nent res­i­dents, many of its his­tor­i­cal lo­cales have been dom­i­nated by stu­dent as­so­ci­a­tions and groups, such as fra­ter­nity and soror­ity houses.

These stu­dent as­so­ci­a­tions, along with the plethora of in­di­vid­ual stu­dent in­hab­i­tants, pro­duce a prob­lem­atic amount of waste in the Mil­ton-parc area. The com­mu­nity has strug­gled with waste man­age­ment largely be­cause of stu­dent neg­li­gence for years, es­pe­cially dur­ing move out sea­sons. Per­ma­nent res­i­dents have ex­pressed crit­i­cism over the poor han­dling of un­wanted fur­ni­ture and garbage, lit­tered in dis­or­ga­nized piles on the streets. The is­sue is caused, in part, by stu­dents un­aware of com­mu­nity reg­u­la­tions such as waste pick up times, and ap­a­thetic to­wards proper waste man­age­ment the com­mu­nity.

The com­mu­nity

The Stu­dent’s So­ci­ety of Mcgill Univer­sity (SSMU) and the Mil­tonParc Cit­i­zens Com­mu­nity (MPCC) have had an agree­ment on ac­quir­ing and en­act­ing “good neigh­bour” prac­tices since 2009. This pact ti­tled the C.A.R.E (Com­mu­nity Ac­tion and Re­la­tions En­deav­ours) agree­ment, de­tails var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties and pro­grams in­tended to im­prove the re­la­tion­ship be­tween per­ma­nent res­i­dents and stu­dents.

SSMU VP Ex­ter­nal Con­nor Spencer ex­plained to The Daily, “There are two big ways that [re­spect] im­pacts [Mil­ton-parc]. It’s the re­la­tions be­tween the com­mu­nity and the stu­dents dur­ing frosh and other large scale events, and it’s the re­spect when it comes to waste dis­posal. Those have been the two main con­cerns of the com­mu­nity when it comes to liv­ing next to a large stu­dent com­mu­nity.”

Hélène Bris­son, a Vice Pres­i­dent of the MPCC, com­mented on how this lack of re­spect for proper waste dis­posal af­fects the qual­ity of life in the com­mu­nity, such as “the phys­i­cal safety of those who walk in them,” and “the pub­lic health is­sues raised by garbage left for days in streets”. Bris­son men­tioned how stu­dent “in­dif­fer­ence to the clean­li­ness of streets” causes a strain the re­la­tion­ship be­tween stu­dents and per­ma­nent res­i­dents, “gen­er­ally speak­ing, the neigh­bours [per­ma­nent res­i­dents], shed the most un­flat­ter­ing light on how some stu­dents can be un­pleas­ant neigh­bours,” said Bris­son.

Lit­ter­ing in the streets of Mil­tonParc is a re­cur­ring prob­lem for the com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially dur­ing movein and move-out sea­sons.

Tris­tan Best, a fourth year stu­dent at the Schulich School of Mu­sic told the Daily, “there’s of­ten bro­ken glass all over the side­walks, along with bro­ken fur­ni­ture and rot­ting garbage that gets in the way while walk­ing and smells quite un­pleas­ant stu­dents are liv­ing here only tem­po­rar­ily, but cre­ate enough of a mess to dis­rupt the lives of the res­i­dents of the Mil­ton-parc area. It’s ex­tremely dis­re­spect­ful, un­san­i­tary, and re­flects poorly on the univer­sity.”

Best men­tioned that stu­dents, in­clud­ing him­self “do[es] not know the sched­ule [for waste col­lec­tion],” leav­ing “the su­per­in­ten­dent of [his] apart­ment takes care of [the] trash. Best be­lieves that the lack of knowl­edge and ac­tion in the trash col­lec­tion sys­tems may be ad­dressed with an in­ter­ven­tion by SSMU, through a “cam­paign to make the garbage col­lec­tion sched­ules bet­ter known, and to make stu­dents aware of proper places to dis­pose of waste” would be ben­e­fi­cial.

Stu­dents and SSMU

SSMU’S Com­mu­nity Af­fairs Com­mit­tee, is re­spon­si­ble ad­dress­ing such is­sues as part of the VP ex­ter­nal port­fo­lio. Cur­rently, SSMU VP Ex­ter­nal Con­nor Spencer and the Com­mu­nity Af­fairs Com­mis­sioner Julien Trem­blay- Gravel are work­ing on creat­ing a large scale waste man­age­ment cam­paign. Spencer has en­gaged in con­ver­sa­tions with Alex Nor­ris, city coun­cil­lor for Jean-mance (the mu­nic­i­pal dis­trict con­tain­ing Mil­ton-parc), about get­ting more bins for the com­mu­nity, but he has yet to con­firm any ac­tion.

The cam­paign has two parts, ed­u­ca­tion and re­fur­bish­ment, both de­signed to re­duce stu­dent waste. The first part will fo­cus on ed­u­cat­ing the stu­dents liv­ing in the Mil­ton-parc com­mu­nity about the specifics of waste col­lec­tion by giv­ing them hard copy sched­ules of their build­ing’s col­lec­tion days and times in English, a ser­vice cur­rently not of­fered by the city of Mon­treal. The sec­ond part is a larger re­fur­bish­ment pro­gram. This spe­cific pro­gram in­volves col­lect­ing un­wanted house­ware items dur­ing the move out pe­riod in late April, and re­selling them in the fall. The first part of the cam­paign de­signed to ed­u­cate stu­dents on proper waste dis­posal, is ex­pected to be made pub­lic by the end of Oc­to­ber. The re­fur­bish­ment pro­gram will likely be­gin mar­ket­ing in the win­ter, in time for the move out sea­son in spring.

Com­mu­nityaf­fairscom­mis­sioner, Julien Trem­blay- Gravel ex­plained over an email state­ment that “[SSMU hopes these ini­tia­tives] will re­duce the large amounts of waste that are ob­served dur­ing that peak pe­riod of the aca­demic year, in­crease waste di­ver­sion from land­fill as well as pro­vide stu­dents with a more sus­tain­able and af­ford­able op­tion from which to source the house­hold items when they ar­rive at Mcgill”.

Trem­blay- Ger­ard elab­o­rated on the im­por­tance of the ini­tia­tives, and their ef­fect on the com­mu­nity, “I have lived in Mil­ton-parc for 3 of the 5 years I have been at Mcgill and have found it to be an ex­traor­di­nar­ily vi­brant com­mu­nity. I hope that these pro­grams will de­crease the neg­a­tive foot­print that is at­trib­ut­able to a mi­nor­ity of stu­dents in Mil­ton-parc and help demon­strate that stu­dents in gen­eral can be a force for good and be­have as re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zens,” she con­tin­ued, “my view is that garbage dis­posal, re­cy­cling, etc. is an is­sue that con­cerns all who live in Mil­ton-parc. [...] We must work to­gether.”

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