When a mayor in Mexico talks about cleaning up a city one might expect the theme to be violent crime, but that wasn’t the case in Aguascalientes.
Teresa Jiménez Esquivel was actually talking about trash.
Jiménez, 32, took office in December, pledging to ensure that her city would continue to be Mexico’s cleanest not only by reinforcing cleaning and garbage pickup crews but by grabbing a broom herself every weekend.
The capital of the state of the same name has consistently been recognized for cleanliness every two years by Ategrus, a Spanish-based industry association whose focus is waste management.
The non-governmental organization acknowledged Aguascalientes in 2004 with its Silver Broom award, in 2006 with a Golden Broom and in the following editions with a Platinum Broom award.
In choosing winners Ategrus looks not only at cleanliness but at garbage collection and recycling programs.
Jiménez is determined to keep the city’s winning streak going. Every weekend for the last few months she has arrived at one of the city’s neighborhoods with a broom in hand and dedicated at least two hours to cleanup tasks. Wherever she visits the people follow suit, sweeping and picking up trash and keeping sidewalks, gardens, public areas and empty lots spotless.
The efforts also include urban maintenance like repainting walls and outdoor benches.
On Saturday it was the Colinas del Río neighborhood’s turn, where the mayor was joined by neighbors in sweeping streets and public spaces and rejuvenating public sports facilities.
“For many years [Aguascalientes] has been the cleanest municipality, and I believe we can do things right. That’s our main goal, and for that reason we’re in the neighborhoods and communities every day, trying to get the people involved with the municipal administration in this effort,” said Jiménez.
In Aguascalientes, population 800,000, 46 garbage collection routes gather 650 tonnes of garbage every day, disposing of them in the San Nicolás landfill.
Source: El Universal (sp)