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

If Jody Aveline could get one gift for Christmas, he says it would be that people stop throwing their masks on the ground.

Fed up with seeing discarded masks all over Montreal, Jody Aveline has already collected 11,461 masks

Jody Aveline has made it a habit to pick up every mask he sees on the ground, but he feels like the job is never ending as the more he looks for them, the more he sees. ( Kwabena Oduro/CBC)

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 the lockdown ended in summer.

"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."

Jody Aveline stuffs every mask he finds into a bike trailer, brings them home, snips off the strings and disposes of them properly. (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.

Based on a report by Kwabena Oduro