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Vancouverites share frustration with city's overflowing trash cans

"This is a regular sight every day of the week on [Broadway]."
overflowing-vancouver-trash-can
While the city has implemented programs to curb waste, there's still a significant amount of litter on its parks, beaches, and streets in July 2022.

If you've spotted an overflowing garbage can in the city, you are not alone. 

While the city has implemented programs to curb waste, there's still a significant amount of litter on its parks, beaches, and streets. Of course, the public also has a responsibility to clean up after themselves and not leave anything behind, too. 

But what happens when the designated places for garbage are already overcrowded with waste?

Vancouver resident Stephanie Hahn took to Twitter to share an image of an overfull garbage can on Broadway. She asks, "Serious question for [City of Vancouver]  'Is there anyone scheduled on weekends for garbage clearing?'"

The local woman added that "this is a regular sight every day of the week on [Broadway]."

Other locals have also mentioned that they have spotted overflowing garbage bins as well as "disgusting washrooms" in the city's parks. 

Before locals flooded parks and beaches during the city's first heat wave of the year, the park board took to social media to share its disappointment with the way people had left the public spaces. 

"Our crews work hard to keep our parks and beaches clean all year round, and were taken aback by the incredible amount of trash left at city beaches this weekend," it wrote on Instagram. 

The messaging was met with some condemnation, however, as multiple people noted garbage cans are overflowing and some areas do not have dedicated recycling containers. 

One man wrote: "Doesn't help when the trash bins are full and you all have no dedicated recycling or compost containers just sayin."

Another individual noted that "the bins are full the parks are poorly kept and never mowed they are filled with needles and human waste our parks as well as the city is a mess."

One local simply highlighted that "we need a LOT more garbage cans all around the seawall."

Vancouver garbage issue

Michelle Harris, manager of Vancouver's Solid Waste Programs, said there are more than 3,200 public waste bins available in the city for people to use while they are out and about and collection times vary depending on where they are located.

"The public waste bins do fill up faster in the summer season, and crews increase our collection frequency to stay on top of the increased garbage. Our crews are out working 24 hours a day, [seven] days a week, emptying the waste bins," she told Vancouver Is Awesome.

Vancouverites can help the issue by reducing the number of single-use items they use, "such as bringing along a reusable cup, or considering staying in a café and asking for reusable dishware," added Harris. 

The garbage cans on Broadway are collected twice daily but the subway construction has made it more difficult to access some of them. Staff are looking at moving some of them to ensure that they can "continue to be able to be safely and reliably serviced by our crews." 

If you see an overflowing waste bin, report it via the Vanconnect app or call 311 and the city will send a crew to empty it as soon as possible.

Learn more about Vancouver's street cleaning and waste collection services or the Put Waste in its Place campaign.