Next up in the This Week in Litter series, we take you to West Ferry. The thing about West Ferry is that it is essentially two different streets. There’s the section between Delaware and Elmwood that is lined with beautiful houses, where people take care of their properties. Then, there’s the section that intersects Grant Street, which is littered with parking lots… and a ton of litter.
When I posted the initial This Week in Litter, I received a number of responses from people who had numerous suggestions. One of those suggestions came from Sarah F. who wrote:
I love everything that is happening with the city of Buffalo.
I noticed on Instagram that you and Buffalo Rising did a street cleanup recently. Buffalo Rising also featured our State Assemblyman Sean Ryan doing an IG takeover piece on Grant Street. I really enjoyed that.
I was interested in organizing a cleanup on West Ferry. If Buffalo Rising wanted to organize one, I would love to help find volunteers and be a part of it. Maybe even plant a few flowers, spread some mulch.
I use Rotundo’s dry cleaning, frequent The Meating Place, and Guercios, Sweetness 7 café…
The answer to Sarah’s query/proposal was a resolute “YES” – we would love to help you in a joint effort to cleanup West Ferry (near Grant). After a few back-and-forths with Sarah, we decided to pick a date for the cleanup – Saturday, September 22 at 10am (arrive at 9:30am). On that day, we will be meeting at Albert’s (296 W Ferry – corner of Grant) for a cup of coffee, before embarking upon the cleanup, which should take about an hour, maybe longer depending on who shows up to help. If you know that you can help cleanup on that day, feel free to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another email that I recently received came from Jeffrey L, who had this to say:
So many of us Buffalo denizens undergo cleaning fatigue. 25 years of cleaning up the Newport (Prospect Ave), the corner park and Fell Alley have left me dispirited.
After reading about your cleanup of Elmwood and Rite Aid, I brain-stormed about how to make people cleanup their own mess and here’s what I came up with – The Pig Pen awards. Divide Buffalo into say 8-12 districts e.g. Allentown, EV, Parkside, Grant-Ferry, Downtown East, Downtown West, Hertel…etc.
Then we elect the winners, and here’s where the great motivator comes in – shame. We send a trophy to both the store manager AND any district manager that recognizes their complete lack of effort. We provide a certificate. We publish the results, and shame them into action. I’ll even sponsor the trophies (I envision a nicely shellacked base with a crumpled piece of paper on top (a kind of origami boulder).
This is also a great idea – one that we will be discussing at Albert’s before we embark upon the West Ferry cleanup. I think that the occasional litter shaming could go a long way – it would certainly be a wakeup call for a number of businesses that apparently don’t care about their outward appearances, such as Rent-A-Center (see photos) at 283 Grant Street… a perfect candidate for The Pig Pen awards.
*If you plan on attending the West Ferry cleanup, be sure to bring loves, garbage bags, a grabber, and/or anything else that you need to make a difference. This cleanup is not organized or sponsored by any organization – it is simply a group of concerned citizens getting together to take care of business.