Cigarette butts, used masks among trash items most often found on the ground in Mississauga

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Published November 29, 2023 at 12:45 pm

Most common litter items in Mississauga November 2023

It’s a regularly published list Mississauga officials hope they’ll soon no longer have to deliver to residents — the most littered trash items across Canada’s seventh-largest city.

Cigarette butts, coffee cups, foam and plastic packaging, plastic bottles, fast food wrappers, paper and home health-care waste such as masks and gloves top the latest litter list put together by the City of Mississauga and published via social media this week.

Not to be ignored is garbage such as chewed gum and filled dog poop bags that also contribute to the mess in Mississauga, city officials note.

“Cigarette butts are one of the most littered items in Mississauga, polluting soil and water. Dispose of them responsibly and make sure they’re out and not hot before throwing away,” reads a Nov. 28 post to the city’s X page. 

Mississauga officials have found it necessary in recent years — particularly during and following the COVID-19 pandemic — to regularly produce such lists in attempts to get people to properly dispose of their trash and recyclables.

While the litter problem has always been present, it has become considerably worse during and since the pandemic, officials say.

Fast food wrappers are among the items of trash most commonly found on the ground in Mississauga. (Photo: City of Mississauga)

All kinds of trash continues to be dumped in Mississauga parks and along trails, sidewalks and streets in what frustrated city officials have described as a worsening problem that not only makes communities less attractive, but puts the health and lives of people and animals at risk.

“Despite additional waste bins and more frequent emptying, litter keeps blanketing the city,” a city spokesperson said in a news release back in the spring.

“Litter is everywhere — coffee cups, food wrappers, cigarette butts, plastic bags, gum, drink bottles and dog waste bags. These items are scattered along sidewalks, boulevards and curbs, tangled in fences, in the bushes along trails and dumped throughout parks.”

Officials say litter is “an environmental hazard” that can be quickly and easily resolved, but only if everyone does their part.

The city says its maintenance crews work hard to address the problem, but their efforts, which include emptying bins more quickly, just aren’t enough.

“While seeing full dog waste bags lying on the ground or discarded facemasks hanging from tree branches might not seem like a big deal, it harms the environment, wildlife and your health,” the spokesperson said earlier.

Littering and illegal dumping fines can run as high as $500, or more, in Mississauga, officials note.

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