Vancouver receives $180,000 state grant for expansion of litter removal program

Talkin’ Trash is an innovative program that assists the city and Share in their mutual efforts to protect public health and the environment

VANCOUVER — This week, the state Department of Commerce awarded the city of Vancouver a two-year grant totaling $180,000 ($90,000 per year) for the expansion of Share’s Talkin’ Trash program.

Talkin’ Trash is an innovative program that assists the city and Share in their mutual efforts to protect public health and the environment, and leads individuals experiencing homelessness to self-sufficiency. It currently consists of one crew, including a supervisor and three cleaners, who work to remove litter from public places in Vancouver.

The Department of Commerce’s Municipal Labor Programs for People Experiencing Homelessness grant will allow Share to add a second three-person crew to the Talkin’ Trash program, allow the scope of the program to be expanded to more areas of the city, and allow for the purchase of an additional truck and trailer for the crews.

The Talkin’ Trash program was formed in 2017 as a partnership between the city and Share, a local nonprofit. Litter collection services traditionally provided by corrections crews were no longer available for this purpose, so the city’s Solid Waste program re-directed that funding to a Community Cleanup Grant that it awarded to Share for the Talkin’ Trash program.

In addition to providing people experiencing homelessness with valuable work experience and training, Share’s Talkin’ Trash program also helps connect its employees with housing and other services as they work to transition away from homelessness.

Since its inception, Talkin’ Trash crew members have collected more than 215 tons of waste at more than 62 locations, and most of its current and former employees have moved into housing.

For more information about the Talkin’ Trash program, visit www.sharevancouver.org/programs/share-outreach-talkin-trash-program/.

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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