Back alley flowers deter garbage dumping

Back alley flowers deter garbage dumping (Audrey Folliot)

Fed up with people using the back alley as a dumpster, a Plateau Mont Royal restaurant owner took matters into his own hands.

Harpreet Sandhu installed a flower box behind the India Rosa last week-end and it worked: no trash has been left there since and he hopes it lasts. "Everybody was pointing the fingers at me, it looks bad for me, it looks bad for the neighbourhood too, " he said.

Sandhu explained he just had to do something, because at one point, garbage pilled up so high behind his restaurant that he had to pay to get it removed. " I had to hire a disposal company," he added. "I used to hire them for one pick-up a week and I tripled that amount."

His complaints to the borough went unanswered. He considered security cameras, but flowers in the alley seem to have done the trick.

"I did my part for my business, now it's cleaner than ever, so I hope my neighbour does the same thing. If everybody does it, there will be no space to put trashes so the city will have to pick it up somewhere," he added.

Sandhu hopes people will help keep the neighbourhood clean because "it's common sense."

Plateau borough spokesperson, Michel Tanguay, says this back alley trash problem is not new. Last year, about 1,200 fines were issued about cleanliness.

The borough has been fighting a similar battle for for several years in others parts of the Plateau, but it remains a constant struggle.