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Bylaws related to littering

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Leaving litter, garbage, refuse, cigarette butts and other waste material on private or public property makes the city look dirty and unhealthy. It can also have serious impacts on our environment and public safety. Littering bylaws help keep our communities and public areas clean. Our littering bylaws state:

  • The improper disposal of burning material, including lit cigarettes, will result in an increased fine.
  • Waste must not be disposed of on any public property, aside from in an appropriate receptacle.
  • If a vehicle is involved in a littering offence, the registered owner of that vehicle may be charged.

Fines for violations of these regulations range between $500 and $1000.

Related bylaws

Littering is regulated by the Street Bylaw in section 17 and the Parks and Pathways Bylaw in section 27. This includes the improper disposal of cigarette butts on city streets and in parks.

This page is an overview of these regulations. Please refer to the actual bylaws for more detailed information. Original copies of the bylaws are available at the City Clerk's office.​






 
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Cigarette Litter

Did you know that cigarette litter is a major environmental concern and contributes to an disproportionate amount of litter in our city? Contrary to popular belief, those white sponge-like butts are not made from cotton or paper — instead they're a synthetic microfibre that takes years to break down and are unsightly around our city.

  • Cigarette filters are one of the most littered items in the world.
  • Chemicals that can leach out of cigarette butts include arsenic, ammonia, and lead. The chemicals found in one cigarette butt can leach out and contaminate approximately 7.5 liters of water within one hour. This contaminated water is lethal to aquatic life.
  • Sunlight will degrade a cigarette filter and break it into very small particles. These small pieces do not disappear or biodegrade but wind up in the soil or swept in water, contributing to water pollution.
  • The fines for the improper disposal of cigarette litter ranges from $250 to $500, with a maximum fine of $750 for throwing a butt out of a car window.

If you’re a smoker, consider buying a pocket ashtray available locally and from popular on-line retailers. For more information on The City’s regulations for smoking and vaping, visit Bylaws Related to Smoking, To find out the safe disposal of cigarettes, visit Proper Disposal of Smoking Material and What goes Where​.

Filing a complaint

How to file a complaint and what happens to it

Search our bylaws

To find out more information about Calgary’s other bylaws you can search bylaws by topic.

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