Operation Street Sweep coming to Sault Ste. Marie

This is the banner photo for the Facebook group associated with Operation Street Sweep.

Did you know that there are over 700 streets in Sault Ste. Marie? That’s 700 strips of asphalt, with addresses, homes, parks and sidewalks. It’s also 700 places where garbage can be found.

Operation Street Sweep has launched with a plan to help combat the garbage issue in the city, and hopes you are willing to help.

The volunteer operation is being headed by 4th year Algoma University law student, Patricia Maitland. SaultOnline caught up with her to discuss what she hopes people are willing to do by way of helping.

“It’s basically cleaning up the streets, making sure that all the potholes and stuff are noted, any overhanging trees, loose wiring etc.,” said Maitland. “if needles are on the ground to safely pick them up or call someone to pick them up. Just to try and clean up the streets a little bit.”

She has drawn her inspiration from many people and other cities in North America. On her Facebook page, aptly named Operation Street Sweep, there is a YouTube video from Arvada, Colorado showing a similar project such as that which she is seeking to accomplish.

Commitment from individuals have already come in to cover these areas.

Since launching about a week ago, she has already managed to cover 6% of the city. She has volunteers from school and the community ready to help out.

The idea is, if you or someone you know could adopt your street, or a block or two of your street and clean it, once a month, twice a year, the city would be a better, cleaner place to live.

“I just hope to have a better future, brighter tomorrow, cleaner streets for the generations to come and the people that are currently living here,” said Maitland. “There’s too much waste everywhere you walk, biohazard waste everywhere, I worry about people standing on needles, especially the smaller children and animals and I also worry about litter getting caught and causing blockages and flooding of the city sewers.”

A list of things they could use donated.

If you want to know more about the operation you can find the Facebook page here. They are in need of multiple things, but as a growing group she hopes at one point she will have the whole city covered as well as all the logistics worked out that comes with an undertaking of this magnitude.

Stay with SaultOnline as we continue to highlight groups, people and organizations who are trying to make this city a better, happier, and healthier place to live.


  1. Just shopped at Country Way & parked behind store in municipal lot. There was alot of garbage around and broken bags of garbage beside the 2 GFL large garbage containers. The grass was being cut but no garbage was picked up!! It was a mess…up the laneway too!!

  2. This is admirable what she is doing but as Jenn said, it’s the City’s job. It’s one reason we pay property taxes. It’s a reduction in service (one of many) since Provenzano and the current city council have been running the show. They clearly don’t know how to run a city efficiently. I can’t wait for the next municipal election.

  3. Agreed 110% they should be embarrassed, this city is a total disgrace with crimes, garbage and junkies, something needs to be done… absolutely!!

  4. Mayor Provenzano, City Councillors and all city operations leadership/senior staff should be EMBARASSED that things have gotten so bad here that groups of volunteer citizens are forced to use their own efforts and resources to DO THE CITY’S JOB and clean up the city.
    This city has become a disgrace and embarrassment. Constantly on the map for all the wrong reasons.

    • You are totally correct with your observations. Back in the sixties and seventies the Sault was a great place to live. Since then , it has become an absolute mess. Ineffective city leadership that panders only to their friends and families for monetary gains.

      Now citizens have to work for free cleaning up garbage. Sad to say the least.
      I am more than content knowing that in 1986 I decided to get out and live elsewhere. After my parents passed away, I had no reason to ever return.

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