This Montreal man is cleaning up the city 1 mask at a time

A Montreal man became so frustrated with the way people toss their used masks and plastic gloves on the ground, he took the matter into his own hands.

Jody Aveline has collected 11,461 masks since Sept. 3.

"I promised myself that if I see a mask or if I see a glove, I stop and I pick it up," he said.

Aveline rides around the city on his bike, picking up masks and bagging them. He stuffs the masks into a trailer attached to his bike.

Worried about the litter's impact on the environment, he takes the masks home, cuts off the strings and properly disposes of them.

"It's a mixture of, I have to pick them up and they're everywhere," he said. "You know, the more I pick them up, the more I see them. It's crazy, but the more you look for something, the more you see them."

Kwabena Oduro/CBC
Kwabena Oduro/CBC

His neighbour Meghan McCualloch says she was so inspired that she started picking up masks herself, and it's made a difference in their neighbourhood.

"I think he's kind of started something," she said. "We all want to do our part."

For Christmas, Aveline says he has one gift that he truly wants.

"If you could give me one gift, I would ask that everyone stop throwing their face masks on the side walk," he said.