Bottle-picker with an eye for flowers cleans up Whyte Avenue alley

Dale, or “Whiskey” as he likes to be called, lives on the street by choice.

Every day, he pushes a shopping cart along an east-west alley north of Whyte Avenue between 103rd and 105th streets.

He picks up bottles and cans and cleans up garbage.

After he returns bottles to a depot, he uses some of the money to buy flowers that he plants in the neighbourhood.

Dale, who likes to be known as “Whiskey,” picks bottles in a Whyte Avenue alley and uses some of the money he gets to buy flowers for the neighbourhood. (Rod Maldaner/CBC)

“Generally what I do is pick bottles and generate revenue,” he says.

“I feel we must give back … Those who can, should.”

Occasionally Whiskey finds discarded potted plants and flowers in dumpsters. He tries to save them by finding new places for them to grow.

Mark Wilson of Vivid Print, a Whyte Avenue business that backs on to Whiskey’s alley, appreciates how he helps beautify the neighbourhood.

“Our alley is spotless thanks to Dale,” Wilson says.

“He’s welcome in our community, as many of the at-risk population are.”

Dale surveys a flower bed in Old Strathcona. (Rod Maldaner/CBC)

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