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Ottawa prides itself on being a clean, green, litter and graffiti-free city. Residents and visitors enjoy natural settings, an abundance of green space, plenty of parks and recreation trails. But just like in any community, litter is an ongoing concern.

Keeping Ottawa clean and green is everyone’s responsibility. While the City does its part to keep the community litter-free, we need your help too!

Is litter a problem in your area? Report it to the City of Ottawa:

What the City of Ottawa does to keep your community clean

  • During the summer, litter receptacles are emptied regularly by summer students known as the “Bucket Brigade,” who also collect litter in the downtown core.
  • Litter is cleared from City sports fields every week.
  • Litter receptacles and streets receive particular attention during special events, such as parades and statutory celebrations.
  • The City has various programs to encourage residents to maintain Ottawa’s beauty including the spring and fall Cleaning the Capital campaign and our Adopt-a Park/Adopt-a-Road program.

What can residents do?

You can help the City of Ottawa meet its goal to divert 75% of household waste from the landfill.

Why should business or property owners care?

Owners of private properties such as malls, homes, businesses and vacant lots that have been identified as having a litter or illegal dumping issue are approached by By-law staff to rectify the situation. If this does not occur, the City of Ottawa, under the Property Maintenance By-Law (By-law No. 2005-208) may complete the cleanup and charge any associated costs to the owner.

Under the Use and Care of Roads By-Law (By-law No.2003-498), the Parks and Facilities By-Law (By-law No. 2004-276) and the Property Standards By-Law (By-Law No. 2013-416) owners of private property can be charged.

Cigarette butt litter

Please put your cigarette butts in an ashtray or a butt stop. Cigarettes are litter and do not belong on the ground.

Did you know?

Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded waste product in the world, and approximately 4.5 trillion cigarettes are consumed annually.  Canadians drop 8,000 tonnes of cigarette butts each year. The core of the cigarette butt is made up of a form of plastic called cellulose acetate. Cellulose acetate is very slow to break down in the environment. Depending on environmental conditions, it can take 18 months to 12 years for a cigarette filter to break down.  Cigarettes contain more than 7,000 chemicals, such as arsenic and formaldehyde. Littered cigarette butts can leach toxic chemicals into the environment and can contaminate water, poisoning fish and animals.

Sources: Truth Initiative (accessed June 12, 2017); Litter Reduction Task Force (accessed June 12, 2017).