The City of St. John's is preparing to commission a study to find whether there are better options than dumping snow in the harbour. 

The practice has come in for criticism as being environmentally risky, as snowclearing crews scoop up litter while they clean the streets. 

But Coun. Jonathan Galgay said the study has been prompted by other concerns, including the fact that the harbour is increasingly busy and access for dumping snow may not be available when the city needs it most. 

"We've identified as a growing city that we need to examine other means of dumping snow," Galgay said. 

"The harbour is obviously a working harbour. It's very busy and obviously with economic growth we can't always rely on moving to that site."

About $30,000 is being earmarked for the review. 

The research is expected to consider alternative places for dumping snow that would entail short driving distances. The city has been using other sites, such as the Robin Hood Bay landfill. 

Galgay said the environmental impacts of dumping snow will be considered in the review.