City’s print media given one year to reduce numbers



robin kuniski/for metro calgary


Newspaper boxes came under scrutiny at yesterday’s Land Use, Planning and Transportation committee meeting. The city wants to limit the placement and numbers of the boxes due to concerns over the amount of litter produced by improperly disposed papers.

Calgary’s main print media outlets were given a year to clean up their act yesterday, after city aldermen called for an end to the proliferation of newspaper boxes around the city.

The city decided to implement a modest 20 per cent reduction in the number of newspaper boxes on the streets for most of the daily news publications, according to Ald. Brian Pincott.

Public concerns over litter and unkempt boxes around the city forced the reduction, Pincott said.

“(The number of newspaper boxes) has doubled in a year and we’re definitely seeing the impacts of that in the garbage that is everywhere and the fact we have boxes chained to every pole and vandalized with graffiti that aren’t being replaced or maintained. They just sit there looking like crap,” said the alderman.

Metro Alberta publisher Steve Shrout wasn’t surprised by the committee decision.

“We’ve been anticipating a manoeuvre like this from city council for some time,” said Shrout, noting that Metro, in an effort to curb the litter from the distribution of its papers has engaged an enviro-team that clears the papers from Calgary’s LRT lines. “We are doing our best to be good corporate citizens.”

Calgary Sun publisher Gordon Norrie also addressed the issue of litter, making reference to the fact that newspapers don’t actually cause the litter, but improper disposal by readers is a contributing factor and that an industry-wide education and awareness campaign could help reduce the problem clutter.