Garbage Hill is a lot cleaner thanks to a community of volunteers


Winnipeg is home to some oddities, not the least of which is Garbage Hill located at Westview Park. Jordan Voth, an event coordinator and community organizer, says he hopes to encourage others in the city to become actively involved in clean up efforts. On a windy June 14, Voth and a team of volunteers picked up trash at Garbage Hill./BRETT KELLY
Brittany (Bodhi) MacLachlan says her motivation to create more sustainable and enironmentally conscious festivals began in 2016 at the Envision music festival. MacLachlan says she has helped cleaning crews and directed trash pick-up efforts with many groups./BRETT KELLY
Not all findings are trash. Voth shows MacLachlan a piece of quartz he found on the side of the road leading up to Garbage Hill. Voth says he hopes other festival-goers will be encouraged to advocate for festivals to have a more specific focus on sustainability./BRETT KELLY
The trash bins at the top of Garbage Hill were overflowing before Voth and a small team of volunteers arrived to begin their clean up. Voth and MacLachlan say they will contact city officials about regular trash pickup and the possibility of adding recycling options./BRETT KELLY
“We should, we can, and we will,” MacLachlan said to the group of volunteers as they set off to clean up. She also told the group about “mooping,” which is an acronym borrowed from the Burning Man festival. MOOP stands for “matter out of place,” and describes any object or material in an inappropriate place, i.e. litter./BRETT KELLY
MacLachlan transferred some of the overflowing trash to her own garbage bags. She said she sometimes finds it easier to responsibly dispose of trash on her own. Garbage Hill has two of these trash bins and no recycling bins./BRETT KELLY
After filling her bag, MacLachlan used her feet and bodyweight to compress the remaining trash in the bin. She said this would help prevent the bin from overflowing before the city is able to collect the garbage./BRETT KELLY
MacLachlan and Voth work together emptying the volunteers’ orange buckets. Garbage Hill is notorious for broken glass, which Voth says is due to old trash resurfacing from the covered landfill. Before it became a park, Westview Park was Westview Hill Landfill from 1875 through 1948. The landfill contains mostly ash and glass from a disused garbage incinerator on Henry Avenue./BRETT KELLY
A volunteer tosses a piece of litter in one of the group’s bins. Voth and MacLachlan provided gloves and hand sanitizer for the volunteers along with orange buckets and grabbing tools. Volunteers were encouraged to be thorough, but to prioritize their own safety./BRETT KELLY
Voth says community outreach is one of the core values of the Full Blüm Arts and Music Festival. Full Blüm aims “to bring people together in interesting ways to celebrate creativity and love, in a fun, interactive and art-filled atmosphere,” according to their website./BRETT KELLY