News release

Pick Up Your Trash! Keep Your Community Beautiful

Environment | May 9, 2023

Litter is everywhere. Coffee cups, food wrappers, cigarette butts, plastic bags, gum, drink bottles and dog waste bags. These items are scattered along sidewalks, boulevards and curbs, tangled in fences, in the bushes along trails and dumped throughout parks. Litter has become a growing problem in Mississauga.

Pile of yard waste in a garbage bag left on the curb on a sidewalk

Garbage, mostly litter, is a big issue for City maintenance crews who are working hard to address the problem. Despite additional waste bins and more frequent emptying, litter keeps blanketing the city.

While seeing full dog waste bags lying on the ground or discarded facemasks hanging from tree branches might not seem like a big deal – it harms the environment, wildlife and your health.

Litter left on a sidewalk - cooffee cups, food waste

Litter pollutes neighborhoods, causes issues with waterways, like creeks and rivers, can affect the growth of trees and plants, and destroys the natural beauty of Mississauga’s community. When litter breaks down, toxic materials, waste and bacteria can enter soil, creeks and rivers.

Litter

Each year, Mississauga Animal Services receives calls about wildlife getting caught in litter left on the ground. Animals can get their head or neck stuck in bottles, jars, cans and food containers, causing them to struggle to break free. It can cause them to suffocate, slowly grow weaker or even starve to death.

A skunk with litter on its head

Birds, smaller animals and aquatic life can eat or get tangled in plastic bags, netting, fishing lines or plastic can ring holders.

Litter is an environmental hazard that can be quickly and easily resolved.

The City is asking everyone to take extra care to clean up after you’ve been out for a walk with your dog(s), played on a sports field, enjoyed an outdoor meal or explored a park or trail.

The City’s annual spring maintenance and clean-up work has begun. Crews are busy clearing litter and conducting street sweeping to help clear debris and litter off roadways, catch basins and drains.  Garbage bins are available at City playgrounds, park pathways, trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, bocce courts, multi-use pads, skate parks, artificial fields and picnic shelters.

See a full waste or recycling container? If you spot a full bin or a litter concern in a park or on a trail, please report it by calling 311.

Construction and renovation waste
Materials like wood, bricks, drywall, metal, cardboard, carpeting, as well as furnishings, are also becoming a major source of litter and are a form of illegal dumping if not disposed properly.

In Mississauga, dumping garbage, renovation, household or bulky items at facilities and parks is illegal. The Debris and Anti-Littering By-law prohibits the throwing, placing or depositing of refuse or debris on private property – or on City property.

Under the Environmental Protection Act, an individual or company could face significant penalties for each offence committed. Littering and illegal dumping fines can run as high as $500 or more.

Prevent litter in Mississauga
We all have a part to play in keeping Mississauga clean. Here are a few ways you can make a difference:

  • If you have litter, make sure you are disposing of it properly and responsibly. While discarding a coffee cup on the ground may be tempting, remember you aren’t the only one doing it. Make the extra effort to throw your garbage away in a waste container. Where comfortable, if you see a discarded piece of litter in a public space, pick it up safely and, put it in a waste bin, wash or sanitize your hands after.
  • Place dog waste in the garbage or designated City park’s green dog waste underground containers. Remember: dog waste goes in garbage bins, not recycling bins or left on the ground. As a responsible dog owner, please pick-up after your pets.
  • Place your litter or recycling in the correct bin. Not sure where something goes? Use Peel Region’s waste sorter tool to help determine where certain items should be placed, like recycling or garbage.
  • Report litter or illegal dumping. If you see litter, debris or illegal dumping, contact the City by calling 311 (905-615-4311, outside City limits) or report it online.
  • Limit single-use items, where possible, to lessen the trash you create. Consider using reusable cutlery, water bottles, coffee cups and lunch bags. Opt for items that use less plastic packaging.
  • Keep waste items sealed or covered. Keep garbage, jars, cans and containers tightly sealed or covered to prevent litter from being blown away or scattered to prevent attracting animals.
  • Organize a park cleanup. Volunteer with family or friends to pick up litter in a park or adopt a park and commit to help clean up litter in your community.

For more information about how to stop litter issues in your neighbourhood, visit ownyourlitter.ca.

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Media contact

City of Mississauga Media Relations media@mississauga.ca 905-615-3200, ext. 5232 TTY: 905-896-5151