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2014-05-01 at 14:04

Litter left behind

By Chase Kruger, for
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THUNDER BAY -- The disappearing snow banks are revealing a more filthy side of the city.

As springlike temperatures force snow to recede, a winter's-worth of litter is starting to appear. The most prominent form of litter seems to be cigarette butts, which decorate nearly every sidewalk and building entrance in Thunder Bay.

"It’s been a long winter,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “When the snow goes, we see the dirt and cigarette butts and it’s pretty filthy. We’re trying to educate people to not litter."

A new cigarette waste education campaign is going to be introduced in the summer by EcoSuperior, with the hopes that it will help reduce the number of butts that end up on the ground.

“We’ll also be offering local community groups and businesses the opportunity to participate in a collection program so that the cigarette waste is recycled as opposed to landfilled” said Shannon Costigan, the waste reduction and litter prevention co-ordinator for EcoSuperior.

Cigarette butts aren’t the only problem that Thunder Bay has with litter, which is why the month of May is dedicated to the Spring Up to Clean Up campaign, an annual initiative that encourages volunteers to clean up litter around the city.

“It’s a civic pride thing” said Jason Sherband, the solid waste diversion and recycling co-ordinator for Thunder Bay . “People want a cleaner city and they don’t want litter on the ground”

The event annually pulls together around 10,000 people to help clean up the city.

“It makes us feel great because Thunder Bay is a beautiful place to live” Costigan said. “It really does make a difference when you get 10,000 people out in the city doing a cleanup."


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Kidknapp says:
The garbage on the ground is absolutely disgusting and just goes to show the level of respect and responsibility people have for their community.
5/1/2014 2:14:22 PM
fastball says:
Without a word of exaggeration, 90 percent of the litter on the ground is take-out coffee cups, fast-food containers and cigarette debris.
Honestly, we're a bunch of pigs.
5/1/2014 2:21:37 PM
CigButtz says:
City of Thunder Bay, Please do not throw your smoke butts outside of your moving vehical. Do you do this because you dont want your car smelling like a moving ashtray? I'm sure if i started putting all my garbage on your lawn you wouldnt appreciate it. I dont like picking up your trash as much as you would'nt want to pick up mine. So please do not throw your butts outside.

Please be considerate. Do your part. It's that easy.
5/1/2014 2:27:00 PM
Eastender says:
This disgust for the litter is exactly the reaction the litterers are looking for. Littering is a form of rebellion and contempt for the established order. Why else would you find fast food garbage just feet away from well placed garbage bins at Marina Park or Hillcrest Park. People who litter, mainly young high school kids that buy the junk food, dont feel that they are part of mainstream society, and this is their way of saying that they dont respct societies values. It manifests itself in various other ways which I wont go into for now as this is about litter and not so much about a societal disease.
5/6/2014 3:02:26 AM
buckwheat says:
And from last Mondays city council meeting comes word there is going to be cuts to street sweeping services. Thunder Bay is going to be even more dirtier and filthier.
5/1/2014 2:37:36 PM
TBDR says:
The world is not a bloody ashtray people. Stop acting like pigs.
5/1/2014 2:50:42 PM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
...many could say "don't throw yer empty bottles out yer vehicle window too"
5/1/2014 4:39:25 PM
broken says:
ciggy butts.. the most acceptable form of litter.. no one even thinks twice before tossing them.

try to tell someone to pick one up.. get told to 'f off a-hole' - same with telling someone to get off their phone while driving..
5/1/2014 3:32:00 PM
Dudebro says:
Education isn't the issue here, everyone already knows not to litter. They honestly just don't care and will continue to do it anyway.
Education is always the answer to these issue when it's not. It just makes people look good to talk about their answer to the problem.
5/1/2014 3:36:34 PM
tsb says:
What is the answer then?
5/1/2014 6:19:19 PM
Eastender says:
Teach your children to be respectful by being an example of respectful behaviour yourself. Demand from them high standards of behaviour and you will be rewarded with fine young adults. It worked for me, and many other mmembers of this community, and it can work for you if you believe in your kids.
5/6/2014 3:13:49 AM
tiredofbull$ says:
Perfectly said, the only way to stop this is by fining people. And not just $25, try $100 and up, if you have one person in the city working in bylaw walking around in different locations all the time, issuing fines for littering, unleashed dogs and cats, smoking in non smoking areas, etc., he/she could make this city some serious cash in fines. Hit these people where it hurts the most, their wallets, then they will learn quickly or make them pick trash in the city for a full day.
5/2/2014 4:27:16 AM
virtualrealityczech says:
Put them on a bike... more ground covered... AND... pay them a base rate PLUS a commission on citations issued.
5/2/2014 1:12:57 PM
patti says:
Anyone caught throwing anything out of a vehicle or littering period, should face a minimum $500.00 fine ~ END OF STORY !!!

5/1/2014 5:20:37 PM
laurie says:
check out clarkson street by the high school.. garbage all over
5/1/2014 6:07:31 PM
orca says:
Its so bad we are starting to look like a 3rd world city.
5/1/2014 6:14:54 PM
bubba says:
Ciggy Butts are bad, guilty.
I've noticed a whack of needles, lots in many places.
5/1/2014 9:25:57 PM
whatelseisnew says:
There wouldn't be cigarette butts everywhere if
1. Establishments set up ashtrays outside.
2. People weren't forced to smoke outside.
5/2/2014 6:54:59 AM
dillon says:
Wrong. Where I work, we put up an ashtray to accommodate smokers because there were a few butts around, and it invited more smokers to smoke. That area around our building always had people around, and there were tonnes more butts on the ground. We took away the ashtray, and how there are fewer loiterers, and fewer butts on the ground. Now we know better than to invite it.
As for smoking're kidding, right? If you choose to smoke, it's your job to find a place for your litter, and to not inconvenience those who don't want to smell and inhale it. Not our job to accommodate you.
5/2/2014 12:38:38 PM
djs says:
If you want to help get rid of the litter, put out some garbage cans and/or recycling bins Anywhere where people are likely to hang around, such as entrances to the malls, busy streets, parks, street corners, etc., should have clearly seen garbage cans. We know people will not walk far to put something in the garbage, so help them out by making the receptacles available everywhere. Maybe if there were more of them seen around the town, maybe there would be less garbage on the ground.
I took my mother to the bank the other day, and we parked by the east entrance to Victoriaville. Both of us shook our heads at the total mess of garbage that was all over the street. A couple of garbage cans and some kind of an ashtray would go a long way to give people the incentive to "put it where it belongs".
Also, maybe some posters reminding people to use the garbage cans might jog some memories of a cleaner time...
5/2/2014 8:11:42 AM
OdieCleghorn says:
Its only going to get worse. Canada is dead last in environmental protection for developed countries. Its embarrassing to be Canadian with the currently "elected" government.
5/2/2014 8:54:11 AM
SMB says:
And don't forget about drinking and driving. Without putting too much effort into it, I've picked up over 200 beer bottles and beer cans along the side of the road in the past two weeks.
5/2/2014 9:01:44 AM
Renegade120860 says:
You would think that all home owners/property owners/business owners would contribute to keeping their piece of property clean, thus making the city, as a whole, a cleaner place!

However, a lot of "Toondar Bayites" seem to think that it's the City's job to cleanup litter.

Welcome to "Hicksville"!!
5/2/2014 9:13:07 AM
spooner19 says:
I think the city needs to make people aware this is a problem and it is not acceptable. Start issuing fines and don't just say it do it. This city is gross it has litter everywhere and don't just say it's same everywhere because it's not. I travel the U.S. a lot and some of these cities even in MN are so clean you would not even think of tossing garbage out you actually look for a garbage can because you realize how out of place litter would look. Totally different story here you see it everywhere so people just think I'll toss mine what difference will it make. Till it's cleaned up and people realize it's wrong things will not change.
5/2/2014 10:08:00 AM
unionbay880 says:
Smokers. The dirtiest animal of them all. FACT!
5/2/2014 10:18:09 PM
HateBall says:
Thunder Bay...Ontario's armpit.
5/3/2014 12:13:05 AM
Commonsense says:
"Cigarette waste education program"???

I think everyone who flicks their butt on the sidewalk already knows it's garbage.

Let's press for a by-law requiring every business to install city-approved. Butt receptacles outside their business. And the city can pay to install them in other places. Away visiting recently, I noticed how clean the sidewalks were there, as compared to the butt-littered sidewalks of Thunder Bay!
5/5/2014 12:30:41 PM
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