Edmonton councillor wants city to consider higher fines to curb littering

Walk around Edmonton and you'll likely see fast food wrappers, plastic bags, even a mattress littering city streets and alleyways.

At least one councillor believes the city needs to raise littering fines.

"I will give you one example of Vancouver where the fines are $2,500 and generally where those signs are up and where they're enforced, you have cleaner streets," said Aaron Paquette.

Right now, litterers can be fined $250 under Edmonton's Public Places Bylaw and Parkland Bylaw, but the laws are not often enforced.

From 2017 to 2019 only 65 tickets and 132 warnings were issued for littering. 

Paquette said complaints from community members have urged him to file a motion to review littering bylaws.

"They're tired of seeing fast food trash all over the place," he said. "They're tired of seeing it collecting on boulevards and fences. And when you get right down to it, a community wants to feel pride in their streets."

Paquette said he doesn't have a minimum fine amount in mind.

Coun. Moe Banga said he also has no problem with increasing fines to clean up the city.

But, he wants to know the cost of additional signage, trash cans and enforcement.

"To give some teeth to the bylaws, we need to have enforcement. There's no sense making bylaws and not enforcing them," Banga said.