Cigarette butts account for 35% of litter in Edmonton. With the changes in provincial legislation prohibiting smoking inside public buildings and within 5 m of a doorway the installation of ashtrays along Whyte Avenue was a challenge due to the narrow buildings and sidewalks.
Capital City Clean-Up - Litter Management Program - Cigarette Litter
Bylaw Enforcement News Release
Interpretation of the legislation by province and local enforcement was required prior to proceeding. Product research and evaluation was conducted. Negotiation with city departments on appropriate placement, maintenance and evaluation was completed.
Curb-side pole mounted ashtrays were the primary option. Two brands, Ecolad 14” wall/pole mount from Ontario and twin pole mount cigarette/gum Smart-bin receptacles from the United Kingdom were selected for trial and installed in December 2008.
Report on trial to January 31, 2009
- Without publicity people are using them with an increase in use each week.
- Vandalism has been an issue. People pry the bottom off or unlock the Eco-lad units to obtain the tobacco.
- Smart-bins from UK were installed mid January – no report to date.
Garbage receptacles are emptied using vacuum trucks late at night on Whyte Avenue. This creates volume problems particularly in the summer and year-round on weekends as the volume of people on the streets during the day fills the bins to near capacity before the late night crowd arrives. Over flowing litter receptacles are unsightly and refuse spills into the street and blows around the area.
- Increased capacity garbage receptacles with an inner ring to hold recyclable cans trialed
- Waste Management increased service to 7 nights per week on Whyte Avenue
- Streets and Transportation increased sidewalk cleaning and Old Strathcona Business Assoc. further supplements with litter pick-up in the alleys just off Whyte
- Attendance Centre community service workers did three massive Spring clean-ups
- Community Standard By-law passed by Council
- Visits with pubs, clubs and late night eating establishments to educate on By-law and encourage increased frequency of clean-up
- Compacting garbage can trial conducted
- Sidewalk cleaning machine trial conducted
Street as a Venue coordinator supported efforts of Capital City Clean-up by distributing materials and organizing the Community wipe-outs using Attendance Centre volunteers resulting in over 4500 sq ft of removal plus 850 sq ft in repaints. Owners painted over 2600 sq ft. CCCU had an additional 1200 sq ft of brick was professionally cleaned.
Capital City Clean-Up - Graffiti Free Zones
Public Toilet facilities
The need for public toilet facilities in the Whyte Avenue area was identified primarily as an issue of the late night entertainment zone patrons however it was also a concern of daytime shoppers, general public and tourists. In years past many coffee shops, convenience stores, fast food outlets and gas stations had publicly accessible washrooms which is no longer the case as most are now customer only.
This is a city-wide issue currently being dealt with by Asset Management and Public Works - Council Report
Whyte Avenue Urinals
After considerable research on other cities experience with public toilets and options within the budget of $20,000, 3 Kros portable urinals were purchased in June 2007 and 3 portable toilets were rented for weekend use in a 10 week trial in the Whyte Avenue area.
- The urinals were in operation 22 weeks May 16 to October 11 in 2008.
- A three-sided lattice privacy screen was placed around the urinals at 103 St and 105 St. and a two sided screen at the alley site. Starting in September, the units were left on site Thursday night through Sunday morning with nightly servicing. No complaints were received.
- Usage is slightly increased form 2007. ( over 500 liters per weekend)
- P-free cards (8,000) were distributed by pubs and clubs in June and September.
- The urinals reaped the benefits of generous media coverage, albeit much of it was not favourable.
- By summer’s end the urinals were collecting an average of 500 litres per weekend and the portable toilets were discontinued after 5 weeks due to lack of use.
- Urinals were placed after 9 pm each day and removed before 8 am the next day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The three locations were:
- 103 St & 82 Ave – north east corner;
- 104 St and south alley - behind Army and Navy;
- 105 St & 81 Ave – south east corner
- To advise late-night patrons of the location of the urinals and remind them of the fine for public urination approximately 7000 Pee-Free cards were distributed by the licensed premises and Edmonton Police Service. A zero tolerance policy of enforcement was adopted through-out the program.