The Global Fight Against Litter - Canada's Cleanest City

The Global Fight Against Litter - Canada's Cleanest City

Global Fight Against Litter: Canada’s Cleanest City?


Steinbach is a city in Canada, which is just south east of Winnipeg. It’s a largely agricultural community, but its commercial and service sector is also growing. In fact, it’s one of the 8 fastest growing cities in Canada, and a popular place for people to settle when they emigrate to the country. This is for many reasons. The city has a great sense of community and it’s been hailed as the most litter free city in the region.

The litter audit

The Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association carries out an annual litter audit, and Steinbach was found to be a shining example of a city that manages to do a great job at staying litter free.

Since the association started the audit back in 2013, the littering of empty drinks containers has fallen by 69%. The association hires 3rd party auditors to measure the litter in 6 cities, and Steinbach was hailed as the cleanest city that they audited in North America.

The audit firm use a mapping system to choose random areas of the cities, then they put out a rectangle, which is 4 metres by 2 metres, then they collect every piece of litter within it. They repeat this around 100 times until they get a reliable sample of the litter in the city.

How does Steinbach stay litter free?

The city has a very good public works department that collects rubbish in a timely manner so that bins are not overflowing. This encourages people to use them, rather than seeing them full and discarding their litter.

The people who live in the city have a sense of community too, and they care about where they live. There is an annual litter picking event that brings people together, and in the spring, there is a clean-up event which is combined with a walk, which is both healthy and educational. The authorities are keen to get young people involved, as when they take part in a clean-up, they automatically think about how they behave, and they are far less likely to drop litter.

A deposit return scheme also runs in the city, and the money raised from the deposits funds the Recycle Everywhere programme, which provides recycling bins, a recycling collection and processing service, and information and awareness programmes. This helps hugely to reduce the amount of litter in the city.