COVID-19 litter targeted in Capital City Clean Up initiative

We’re all in this together. And if a little more of this could end up in garbage cans, well, great! 😊

The City of Edmonton has begun to deliver Capital City Clean Up kits to grocery stores where customers have discarded on the ground COVID-19 protection.

“We’re starting to get the snow thawing, which leaves a lot of litter on the ground, but, we’re specifically seeing issues with personal protective equipment, so, that’s the gloves and the face masks that people are using today to keep themselves safe,” said Tanya Laughren, Community Relations Advisor, Capital City Clean Up.

“We’re specifically seeing them in places like grocery stores…where they’re going in and using the carts, being in the public, and then they’re disposing of them on the ground, unfortunately.” 

The City is on it

Capital City Cleanup crews and municipal enforcement officers are teaming up on an “education initiative,” starting with approximately 85 grocery stores over the rest of the week, said Laughren.

Crews are reminding businesses it’s their responsibility to keep their grounds clean and to provide garbage receptacles for customers, and they’re reminding customers to use them. 

They’re not coming empty-handed. Each business gets a cleanup kit, including a litter grabber, gloves, garbage bags and other good, clean stuff. 

Capital City Clean Up kits

“It’s a tough time right now, and we get that you need to keep yourself safe, but it is important to not leave these things on the ground, as well,” said Laughren.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is not recyclable. 

Laughren said the team will take another look after a week or so to see if there’s an improvement in the PPE litter in grocery store parking lots before deciding whether to expand the effort to include businesses like pharmacies and hardware stores. 

‘Tis the season

Laughren said everyone can join the general effort to keep Edmonton looking its best at this time of year. 

“If you are seeing something like this and you do have concerns, please call 311,” Laughren said. “You’ll be directed to Capital City Clean Up where we can track and keep note of where the issues are in the city and really address them.”