Littered Streets (and Shores, and Parks)

With the snow melted, it is hard not to notice the litter around Hamilton.  Not only is it unattractive but it can be dangerous for wildlife and pollute our natural resources.  Our friends around Hamilton have asked us how they can help.  The most important step is to set a good example by disposing of all of your waste properly and securing your recycling at the curb.  The next step is to help clean-up the litter in your neighbourhood.

The Laws: Illegal Dumping versus Littering

If you like legal jargon, you can read the full Litter, Yard Waste and Property Maintenance Bylaw.  For the rest of us:

  • Littering is small-scale, spontaneous, and often unintentional misplaced waste such as a piece of trash blown out of your hand or a dropped a cigarette.  If it is intentional, it is illegal and can land you a fine of up to $500.
  • Illegal dumping is intentional and generally large-scale dumping of personal waste onto public or private properties.  Fines can go up to $5000.  Anytime you witness trash being dumped on a public or private property report it by calling 905.546.CITY.   If it is from a car, note the make, model, and license plate number.

Litter Clean Up Tips

Want to clean up around your neighbourhood? It’s great to do your part and important to do it safely and to dispose of the litter in the right way.   Here are some tips to stay safe:

  • Be cautious of water bodies, steep slopes, or busy street
  • Get permission if you want to clean up on private property
  • Have a first aid kit nearby, sunscreen, and bug repellent nearby
  • Wear bright clothing or safety vests, work gloves, and closed-toe shoes
  • Drink water to keep hydrated
  • Wash your hands after the clean-up
  • Separate out recyclables in a clear bag or blue bin
  • Report discarded bulk items to the litter hotline at 905.546.CITY (2489) or
  • Report graffiti to the City at 905.546.CITY
  • DO NOT pick up hazardous items such as discarded needles, sharp objects, animal carcasses, or heavy items.  Flag these items and call 905.546.CITY

Learn more by visiting the City of Hamilton anti-litter site or Clean City Liaison Committee site and checking out the resources below.

Clean Up Events/Resources

City of Hamilton’s Team Up to Clean Up

The event (previously called pitch-in week) runs for a week in April, but groups can register year-round to get supplies to host a clean-up events.  If you register online, you will get Clean & Green bag (which are a special orange colour making them exempt from the one curb side garbage container rule), recycling bags, graffiti wipes and work gloves (as supplies last).

City of Hamilton’s Adopt-a-Park

Register your group to Adopt-a-Park to help keep a park in your neighbourhood beautiful and clean year-round.

Bay Area Restoration Council

BARC (Bay Area Restoration Council) promotes many programs such as Adopt-a-Creek which focus on clean-up efforts around the Bay.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Each year in mid-September, groups from throughout Canada host events to help clean up shorelines.  Visit the website to register for or host an event near you.

In Your Neighbourhood

Do you know of other clean up days in your area?  Are you planning an event?  Share information by leaving a reply.

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