Should garbage cans be mandatory at drive thru’s?

The Tim Hortons at Dundurn and King has two garbage cans, but people still littered.

According to Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla, the litter at Tim Hortons drive thru’s is a major problem. He estimates that 30-40% of the litter in the city, is from Tim Hortons.

“Just from an anecdotal and visual standpoint it adds up. Drive down up and down the streets each piece of litter it’s remarkable how much represents Tim Hortons.”

Merulla proposed that city staff look into a bylaw that would force all drive thru’s to have garbage cans.

“This is a corporate problem, it shouldn’t be a city problem. They produce the garbage they need a strategy to contain that garbage and deal with that waste accordingly.”

We reached out to Tim Hortons but they never responded.

Two years ago when the coffee chain got rid of garbage cans in drive thru’s they issued a statement saying the changes were made to improve their waste diversion program.

In most drive thru’s if you want to throw out your garbage, you need to stop, get out of your car and take a few steps to the garbage can. For some people, it’s too far to go.

Even if garbage cans are mandatory at drive thru’s though, Merulla admits that it won’t stop everyone from littering.


  1. I’m not sure if Mr. Merulla’s estimates are correct but I agree that the amount of Tim Horton’s litter is out of hand. There will always be people to lazy to find a garbage bin but if they’re located in a convenient spot, then I’m sure they’ll be used. Perhaps a deposit on the cups would be incentive to bring them back for Tim Horton’s to dispose of properly. That goes for all drive-throughs, not just Tim Horton’s.

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