City’s annual community spring clean-up program is an integral way to help cut down on illegal dumping

There will be community locations to drop waste off every weekend until June 4

By Krista Sylvester | May 10, 2022 |5:00 am

The City of Calgary's Community Clean-up program is underway until June 4.

Photo: Submitted

You might not know it from yesterday’s snow, but the city’s community spring clean-up program is officially underway and it’s a great chance to dispose of your unwanted waste at no cost to you. 

Normally a trip to the city’s landfills can be pricey depending on what you’re bringing, but from now until June 5, there are community clean-ups every weekend throughout the city, and then again in September. 

The city partners with community associations and their volunteers to host these cleanups to help citizens dispose of unwanted household items and property waste that may not fit in their black carts — for free. 

Each year, the city’s community cleanups remove over one million kilograms of waste and organic material. In 2021 alone, the program collected a total of 1,091,058 kg of garbage and organics.

Cutting down on illegal dumping 

It’s all part of cutting down on illegal dumping and cleaning up the community, says City of Calgary Community Standards Insp. Bradley Johnson. 

“The idea is to give options and opportunity for citizens to take their waste and household materials that may have built up over the months to an area where it’s not going to cost as much as going to the dump, and it’s probably closer to home,” he explains, adding it’s also a way to deter illegal dumping. 

“Community cleanups help reduce illegal dumping, by providing a cost-effective and convenient alternative for disposing of unwanted household items. Almost all communities suffer from a form of illegal dumping in some form or fashion.”

It’s a common problem year-round, he adds.

“Whether it’s the distance from the landfill or the expense, illegal dumping occurs across the city. This gives people an opportunity to drop off their waste materials and reduce that level of illegal dumping.”

But keep those dangerous goods away 

Not all materials will be accepted though, warns Johnson. 

“There are a few limitations to be mindful of,” he says, adding the city sometimes comes across some strange items. 

“People drop off all kinds of things they don’t want anymore. I think one of the weirdest things someone dropped off was a full garden gnome collection. There’s been broken grandfather clocks. And there’s been a lot of taxidermy items.”

Accepted items include (but are not limited to) furniture, including desks, chairs, sofas, old mattresses, toilets, and recalled or broken recreational products.

Items that aren’t accepted include barbecues, lawnmowers, household chemicals, and large appliances. 

“We’re not accepting car batteries, microwaves, liquids like cooking oil… and things like that. This is meant to be for general waste materials.”

You can find the schedule and more information here. 

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Krista Sylvester

Managing Editor at Calgary Citizen

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