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The lofty price of littering

A thousand bucks can buy a lot of things, but the City of Calgary is reminding citizens that’s also the price they could pay for being litterbugs.

A thousand bucks can buy a lot of things, but the City of Calgary is reminding citizens that’s also the price they could pay for being litterbugs.

City officials launched a littering awareness campaign yesterday to educate Calgarians that throwing a lit cigarette out of a car will now cost you a hefty $1,000 fine if you’re caught. But that’s not all, says the city’s bylaw boss, Bill Bruce.

“Throwing garbage from the car will cost you $750 and a pedestrian throwing litter on the ground can cost $500,” Bruce warned.

Bruce admitted he doesn’t believe anyone has been levied with the $1,000 fine since council increased the penalty last year, but said the main purpose of the campaign is to educate Calgarians.

“It’s your city and you want to see it kept clean,” Bruce said.

The city began handing out vehicle garbage bags and small bins for gum and cigarettes as part of the campaign to give them the “tools” they need to keep the city a cleaner place.

Second Cup is also participating in the campaign by handing out the items.

Smoker Alicia Mesons said she wasn’t aware the fine was so high and vowed to be more careful.

“I know I shouldn’t but I am sure I have thrown some butts out before. But that’s a lot of money so I wouldn’t want to get caught doing it,” she said.