Coffee cups, food wrappers, dog poop and other litter are ‘everywhere’ in Mississauga


Published May 9, 2023 at 4:40 pm

(Photo: City of Mississauga)

All kinds of trash is being dumped in Mississauga parks and along trails, sidewalks and streets in what frustrated City officials describe 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 of Mississauga spokesperson said in a news release today (May 9).

“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.

“While in most cases litter is preventable, it continues to be a problem that is impacting a lot of local neighbourhoods,” the City says, noting the litter problem, which has always been present, has become considerably worse the last few years during and since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City says maintenance crews are working hard to address the problem, but their efforts, which include emptying bins more quickly, 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 in the news release.

“Litter pollutes neighborhoods, causes issues with waterways like creeks and rivers, can affect the growth of trees and plants, and destroys the natural beauty of Mississauga’s community. When litter breaks down, toxic materials, waste and bacteria can enter soil, creeks and rivers.

“Each year, Mississauga Animal Services receives calls about wildlife getting caught in litter left on the ground. Animals can get their head or neck stuck in bottles, jars, cans and food containers, causing them to struggle to break free. It can cause them to suffocate, slowly grow weaker or even starve to death.”

Also, birds, smaller animals and aquatic life can eat or get tangled in plastic bags, netting, fishing lines or plastic can ring holders. the City says.

Officials ask everyone to clean up after they’ve been out for a walk with their dogs, played on a sports field, enjoyed an outdoor meal or explored a park or trail.

Mississauga’s annual spring maintenance and clean-up work has begun, with crews busy clearing litter and conducting street sweeping to help clear debris and litter off roadways, catch basins and drains, officials note.

One specific thing residents can do to help is call 311, the City’s info line, to report a litter problem or a full waste or recycling container in parks and on trails or other City property.

A City spokesperson said in a recent email to that, since last year, the City has increased litter messaging through the use of temporary signs in parks and along roadsides, social media and a new website (

Meanwhile, materials like wood, bricks, drywall, metal, cardboard and carpeting as well as furnishings are also becoming a major source of litter and are a form of illegal dumping if not disposed of properly.

Dumping garbage and renovation, household or bulky items at Mississauga facilities and parks is illegal. An individual or company could face significant penalties for each offence committed.

Littering and illegal dumping fines can run as high as $500, or more.

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