Trash may be out of sight now that snow is covering the ground, but the City of Regina doesn’t want litter to be out of mind.
The city’s director of parks and open space Ray Morgan hopes education will lead to improvements in Regina’s cleanliness. He has called on residents to make sure garbage is put in the appropriate place instead of just being tossed to the ground and left to get buried underneath the snow.
“We’re hoping for that behaviour to change because costs are increasing…in order to maintain and keep the community attractive, it’s costing more and more every year,” he said. “We do spend a lot of time on picking up litter in the city and it’s 100 per cent preventable.”
Morgan said each year the city will spend more than $200,000 picking up trash from main roads like Ring Road, Lewvan Drive and 9th Avenue North. He said that’s money that could be used in other areas, such as pest control and parks maintenance.
Besides being unsightly and costly, garbage can be harmful to the environment and animals.
“Litter is garbage that’s lost its way,” added Lisa Legault, the city’s director of solid waste.
Even those who intend to dispose of their garbage may be at fault. Legault reminded residents to make sure garbage is properly bagged or bundled and placed in garbage bins with the lid fully closed so wind can’t send trash airborne. In addition, she said those headed to the landfill should have their loads tarped and secured.
When asked whether litter could potentially increase over the winter as a result of a recent city council decision to change the garbage collection cycle in the winter to a biweekly schedule, Legault pointed out waste disposal typically goes down roughly 30 per cent from households over that time. She said the city doesn’t anticipate litter to increase but they will review in the spring to see how it’s been impacted, if at all.