A number of ashtrays will soon be gone along busy Edmonton strips like Whyte Avenue and Jasper Avenue to comply with the new no-smoking-in-public-places bylaw.
There will still be some designated smoking zones in those areas — beyond the 10-metre buffer zone.
Ahead of cannabis legalization on Oct. 17, councillors debated smoking rules and decided to group cannabis with tobacco.
In September, city council settled on banning cannabis consumption within 10 metres outside any entrance, exit, window, air intake or bus shelter. The rule changes will also encompass tobacco, which previously had a five-metre limit.
As of Oct. 17, there will be 32 designated smoking areas around Whyte Avenue and 26 along Jasper Avenue and that’s where the ashtrays will be placed.
However, some are worried that fewer official spots to get rid of cigarette butts or joints could lead to city streets becoming one big ashtray.
“There’s always a concern about the increased litter,” said Don Belanger, program manager with Capital City Clean Up.
“The ashtrays cannot go back in if they don’t comply with the bylaw. So, we’re going to have to come up with different strategies to address that.”
In terms of bylaw enforcement, Edmonton will focus on public education and awareness before penalizing.
“When our officers are one the road, walking a beat or whatnot, it’s going to be education and voluntary compliance before we take any enforcement action,” Kevin Tomalty, a peace officer with the Community Standards branch, said.
A ticket for breaking the bylaw is $250.
Watch below: Consuming cannabis will be banned within 10 metres of any entrance, exit, window, air intake or bus shelter in Edmonton. The rule changes will also encompass tobacco, which previously had a five-metre limit.