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Enhanced street cleaning services aim to reduce illegal dumping and create a cleaner Vancouver

November 23 2016

Abandoning mattresses and furniture in alleys is illegal. Photo ©gscameraworks.

To reduce illegal dumping and create cleaner and safer public spaces, Council will vote on the 2017 Budget which includes investments in public realm cleanliness. These investments will be partially funded by a new Street Cleaning Utility fee.  

Under Council’s direction, savings from the recycling transition to Multi-Material BC, have been redirected to provide all residents will additional street cleaning services, with added support in high demand neighbourhoods where illegal dumping and cleanliness continue to be an issue. The Street Cleaning Utility fee introduces a cost effective option for us to efficiently manage and reduce waste over the long term.    

Enhanced street cleaning

Garbage illegally dumped in a laneway – if not cleaned up promptly – attracts more garbage. Abandoned garbage can also cause health and environmental risks, sends a message that illegal activity is tolerated in our neighbourhoods and costs taxpayers over a million dollars a year. By increasing our service levels and enforcement, our crews are better equipped to create a cleaner Vancouver.

Proposed enhanced street cleaning services

  • Large Item Collection Pilot Program which may accept mattresses, furniture, and appliances
  • Quicker response times to overflowing receptacles, illegal dumping, or abandoned garbage (27 new staff added)
  • 300 new litter receptacles added to hot spot and high-demand areas city-wide
  • Added focus on litter and needle collection close to schools and residential areas (such as Strathcona, Kensington/Cedar Cottage, and Grandview Woodland)
  • New recycling and waste diversion programs added to public spaces 
  • Increased enforcement through ticketing to address illegal dumping

Solid Waste Utility Fee structure

Proposed collection fees for a representative single family home 

Solid waste utilities Curbside services 2016 Solid waste rates 2017 Solid waste rates
180 L Cart 
  • Biweekly collection 
$103.00 $102.00
Green Bin
240 L Cart
  • Weekly Green Bin collection 
  • Seasonal leaf collection
$140.00 $150.00


  • Weekly recycling collection*
$18.00 $0
Street cleaning 
  • Illegal dumping clean-up
  • Litter collection
  • Public realm garbage and recycling collection   
$0 $19.00
Total   $261.00 $271.00

 *Recycling services provided through Multi-Material BC effective October 3, 2016, at no charge to taxpayers: funded by producers of packaging and printed paper. 

Illegal dumping

Illegal dumping is an offence under the Street and Traffic By-Law 2849.

A person or the registered owner of vehicle caught illegally dumping material on City property may have to:

  • Remove the waste and restore the area
  • Repay the City for removing the waste and restoring the area
  • Pay a bylaw ticket ranging from $100 to $500 per offence
  • Face prosecution leading to a fine of up to $10,000

How you can help keep our city clean

While we work to keep our streets clean through street sweeping, graffiti removal, and more, reduce and responsibly dispose waste.

When gathering in parks and public spaces, please help keep our city clean:

  • Use the waste and recycling receptacles provided
  • If you see litter on the street, consider picking it up and placing it in a container
  • Think about operating on the "Pack-it-in/Pack-it-out" premise
  • Use the Waste Wizard to find out how to properly recycle or dispose of waste

City street sweeping and cleaning