The City of Edmonton currently has over 10,000 public space waste containers. These containers are found beside most bus shelters, along trails, at playgrounds, parks and other green spaces throughout our city, and along the sidewalks of key commercial areas such as Business Improvement Areas.
These waste containers are not meant to be the sole means of collection for businesses, households, or multi-family residences which must have their own dedicated collection services. Items left next to public space waste containers by businesses and households is an example of illegal dumping and may result in an audit and eventual removal of the container.
We regularly review the distribution of public space waste containers across the city. Every container costs money to service, so we work to balance accessibility and servicing efficiency.
Other factors that we consider for placement include:
Potential for vandalism
Illegal dumping of household and bulky waste
Traffic safety (for example, the risk posed by waste collection trucks to driver and pedestrian sight lines during collection)
On-Street (non-Transit) Waste Containers
Within Business Improvement Areas and other select mixed-use commercial areas that have a frequent pedestrian presence
Mixed-use business areas include any combination of retail, commercial, residential, and civic space.
On public sidewalks and public property adjacent to businesses
On-street waste containers must be placed on a solid surface, such as cement. They cannot be placed on grass, dirt, or gravel.
Locations that allow for easy service, inspection, vehicle and resident access
Waste containers can be placed on or near street corners that do not have utility boxes, and/or bike racks. Placed waste containers must not block vehicular traffic, parking, sight lines or load and unload zones.
Within residential neighbourhoods
In areas that are low density residential and or single family residential, residents are encouraged to bring their waste home for disposal. This includes things like pet waste, and unwanted flyers from community mailboxes. It is not efficient to service litter containers in lower density areas.
For the sole use of a stand-alone business
Businesses outside of Business Improvement Areas that generate a lot of single use item garbage (for example: food packaging or take out containers) that require outdoor litter cans for their patrons must provide their own cans and service.
Transit Waste Container
Transit Centres and LRT Stations
Numerous garbage and recycling containers can be found at all Transit Centres and LRT Stations.
Bus stops with Shelters
Waste containers are often located next to bus shelters. Bus shelters and waste containers are often placed at bus stops near schools, commercial areas or public attractions where there is higher ridership and higher generation of waste.
Bus stops without shelters (for example: just a bench)
Bus stops without shelters and or benches are typically located in lower density residential areas, with lower levels of ridership.
Bus stops in residential areas that are not close to schools or commercial areas
On street locations that are not intended to serve Transit patrons
Open Space and Parks (non-Transit) Waste Containers
Locations must be accessible for trucks to service. Litter container bags can get very heavy. Therefore, the maximum walking distance between a collection vehicle and container should be less than 3 metres.
Group Picnic Areas
At group picnic areas, and picnic tables near playgrounds and spray parks.
Trail heads and junction and select Viewpoints or Benches
Near the start of trail heads. Often these locations are close to a road that provides service vehicle access. To the extent possible, where two or more trails meet and at select viewpoints or benches along a trail.
In school fields adjacent to baseball diamond backstops
Along Pipeline Right of Ways (ROW) that can not be easily accessed by collection vehicles
Collection vehicles are not permitted on pipeline ROW. Any containers serving open spaces or off-leash areas located on a ROW would need to be easily accessible from the road.
Areas that have ongoing illegal dumping issues
Containers will be removed where illegal dumping is becoming a problem. For example, cans located in transportation breeze ways (for example: a short path that cuts back into a neighbourhood from a sidewalk or trail) can be prone to illegal dumping. These containers tend to get very heavy and difficult to service from a safety perspective.
Limited container placement in the river valley trails
Smaller vehicles (some as small as golf carts) are needed to access and service waste containers in the river valley. This makes servicing very inefficient. Waste containers should also be limited in these areas as they are considered more environmentally sensitive. Similar to the national parks, park patrons are encouraged to pack in and pack out when a waste container is not available.
For more information on education and enforcement of littering and illegal dumping, the City of Edmonton has the following resources available.