10 new officers set to crack down on Edmonton litter
Edmonton has hired 10 new community peace officers in its latest attempt to crack down on the city's litter problem.
The officers, who start training next week, will catch and ticket people who drop litter on the streets, or allow garbage to blow off construction sites or vehicles.
"The number of complaints that the city is receiving is growing, and the number of people we're catching with unsecured loads, which means debris is falling onto the streets, is certainly increasing," said David Aitken, who oversees bylaw enforcement for the city of Edmonton.
The city now gets about 3,000 complaints a year about litter.
The officers' new mandate goes beyond ticketing a person who drops a chocolate bar wrapper or paper coffee cup on the ground.
They will also patrol the Yellowhead Highway and Anthony Henday Drive, where trucks regularly lose parts of their loads.
They will be driving marked vehicles, and will have the power to pull over and ticket drivers. The officers will also focus on construction sites, where unsecured debris can blow onto the street.
Aitken said the officers will patrol city roads looking for infractions, as well as respond to complaints.
"We'll be both proactive and reactive," he said.
The new officers complete their training by December. Aitken said the new officers will allow the city to expand its coverage to weekends and evenings in the summer.