Since the start of COVID we have seen unprecedented park activity as residents spend time outside to be with their family and friends. This has resulted in increased litter and waste (garbage/recycling) in our outdoor public spaces and, unfortunately, more illegal dumping in parks. City staff continue to work diligently to keep up with the waste created in parks, woodlands, natural areas, sidewalks and along roadways. In order to address this issue, City Staff are doing the following:
- Staff are embarking on a City-wide litter campaign this summer coordinating messaging from the Parks Forestry and Environment, Enforcement and Works Operations & Maintenance Divisions and leveraging internal Marketing and Communications teams to educate our residents on the impacts of litter, target proper disposal of commonly littered items and create a call to action since we all have a role to play to help keep Mississauga free of litter.
- Park Operations is completing the following:
- There are approximately 900 year round garbage/recycling containers located in 500 parks and approx. 900 additional seasonal containers will be placed on trails and next to park amenities (e.g. sports fields, picnic shelters, spray pads etc.) during the next few weeks.
- Park Operations seasonal staffing has resumed, providing additional resources and capacity for managing litter and waste.
- Staff will monitor garbage/recycling container locations in parks and will adjust service levels to address locations experiencing increased waste or illegal dumping.
- Streetsville and Port Credit BIAs will receive additional Saturday Region of Peel roadside waste container service from May to September 2021.
- Security Operations is monitoring well-known and ongoing illegal dumping locations in City parks.
- Staff from Transportation and Works are responding to litter removal as well as litter/community dumping complaints along roadsides to initiate cleanup.
- The Region of Peel is re-instating a 2 additional bag allowance for residential curbside garbage collection from May 3 – June 25, 2021
Residents and local businesses can also participate to help keep our parks clean through solo and small team litter clean-ups and include:
- Parks Volunteer Clean-Up Programs: Parks Services is opening the volunteer litter clean-up program. Each volunteer will need to register and sign the appropriate waiver forms (including the COVID19 waiver) before commencing with cleaning up a City Park. The current provincial restrictions limit groups to a maximum of 5 people. As restrictions change, maximum numbers of volunteers will be adjusted.
Community groups are to contact 311 for more information on the program and a Parks Services staff member will guide them through the process. Alternately, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 20-Minute Makeover: We will be offering our annual 20-Minute Makeover litter clean-up opportunities however our normal timeline of Earth Days (April 12 –24, 2021) has been postponed due to COVID regulations. Alternate dates around May 11, 2021 (Provincial day of litter) or dates in June will be determined based on future COVID regulations. A maximum of 250 groups will be allowed to register (first come, first serve, and max. of 5 people/group). Registration is required and all groups will be provided COVID safety guidelines and mailed supplies (i.e. garbage bags, gloves). Registrations will be live via the website closer to the approved dates, https://mississauga.ca/earthdays
- Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up: Solo and small team litter clean-ups (maximum of 5 people) targeting locations near our waterways are run by the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up and supported by our Parks Services team https://www.shorelinecleanup.ca