Young offenders work to clear up junk from Regina alleys

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Young offenders work to clear up junk from Regina alleys

A City of Regina committee wants a program that sees young offenders work to clear garbage out of the city's core neighbourhoods to continue. 

A new two-year contract was approved on Thursday by the city's community and protective services committee.

The Atoskata Youth Restitution Program involves young offenders between the ages of 12 and 18, who work to provide restitution to the victims of their crimes.

The City of Regina has partnered with Regina Treaty Indian Services, which runs the program, for many years, with the youths tasked with removing large, bulky items like mattresses or sofas dumped in inner-city areas.

Alley litter is not only unsightly, but it can also pose a safety risk when bigger items block emergency and service vehicles from passing through, noted a city report.

The final decision on renewing the contract is up to city council, with Thursday's recommendation due to come before council at its April 30 meeting.

The city also noted that outside the core neighbourhoods, there has been a jump in the number of calls to pick up litter.

Between 2016 and 2017, there was a 30 per cent increase in requests for alley litter collection, which led to a $26,703 increase in costs in 2017 from the $60,000 budgeted, the report said.

If the costs continue to stretch above $60,000 annually, the city administration noted it may have to recommend an increase to the city's alley litter collection budget.