Litter audit reveals a cleaner city
December 14, 2017

Citizens, community groups and businesses worked together throughout the past year to help make Edmonton cleaner this year. The results of Capital City Clean Up’s 2017 Litter Audit show a continued trend towards less litter on Edmonton’s streets. 
“The results of this year’s Litter Audit show big improvements in the amount of litter on Edmonton’s streets,” said Don Belanger, manager for Capital City Clean Up. “This downward trend in litter is thanks to the thousands of volunteers, many community groups and local businesses that continue to step up and get involved.”

The audit was conducted by AET Group in June which examined litter type and size at 123 preselected locations across Edmonton as well as along Yellowhead Trail between 107 Street NW and the Beverly Bridge. 

  • Since last year:
  • 35 per cent reduction in large litter
  • 26 per cent reduction in small litter
  • Since 2009 when the audits began:
  • 74 per cent reduction in large litter
  • 59 per cent reduction in small litter
  • Along Yellowhead Trail:
  • 50 per cent reduction in large litter from the last audit in 2014
  • 19 per cent reduction in large litter from the baseline audit in 2010

Miscellaneous plastic and cigarette butts continue to account for the majority of large and small litter found. Although cigarette litter counts decreased, more work is still needed to address areas such as traffic intersections and locations where smokers congregate to smoke. Estimates show that more than 900 million cigarettes are smoked each year in Edmonton. More than 67 million butts are collected annually in the City of Edmonton’s 719 outdoor ashtrays located in 13 commercial districts city wide.
Capital City Clean Up’s 2018 litter management program will continue in the spring. It promotes a unified approach to keeping Edmonton clean by engaging volunteers, schools, community groups and local businesses.
Results of the litter audits since 2009 are available on the City of Edmonton’s Open Data site.
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Media contact:  
Communication Advisor