Community applauds student cleanup service
The Student Maintenance and Resource Team (SMART) run by the Alma Mater Society (AMS) is making a big impact in the community through its cleanup and beautification service.
“The community has been really happy with us and the landlords are very pleased,” says Andrew Stokes (Artsci’13), head manager of the SMART program. “Students have also noticed our work and often lend a hand when we are out cleaning around their rental properties.”
The SMART program began last spring as a way to beautify the university district and improve relations with the City of Kingston and local landlords. The program’s staff of eight students has several focus areas.
The team provides free community cleanup services, including garbage and yard waste pickup around the university. It offers monthly property maintenance rates for landlords who own buildings in the area. SMART staff can be contracted by landlords to cut grass, rake leaves and perform minor exterior property maintenance such as repairing fences and decks. They currently work with a dozen landlords, servicing about 65 properties in the university area.
In the fall, SMART began the Red Cup Cleanup, a party cleanup service provided to students for a small fee. It also has a two-year contract with the city to perform bylaw work orders, including yard cleanup and garbage removal services, on properties where maintenance is required.
“It’s working really well from our perspective. We can get cleanups done faster, which helps keep our streetscapes looking good,” says Steve Murphy, Manager, Building Services Division, City of Kingston. “It really helps to have the SMART program working in the university area and keeping an eye on student properties. The whole city gains a lot by having them out there and visible in the community.”
The SMART program has so far completed more than 20 work orders for the city.