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Residents say feds' decision to remove garbage cans near Lachine Canal is rubbish

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You might not notice they're gone until you need one but the garbage bins along the Lachine Canal have been removed and it's raising a lot of questions.

It's caused more littering and it's feared summer gatherings will only make it worse.

The removal of some 30 garbage cans along the canal is already being felt by residents.

"I live in this area and I see a lot of garbage just floating around on the ground," said St-Henir resident Maika Lagotte. "I think trashes need to be in sight. You need to see where they are, and if you don't then you're not going to use them."

Parks Canada says the removal of garbage cans aims to promote waste reduction but according to some nearby residents it's leading to more littering.

"It doesn't make any sense if we're trying to keep things clean," said Nicole Groleau, also in St-Henri.

Dominique Moiroud says there will be more pollution as picnic season gets started with the warmer weather.

Last Friday, the federal agency addressed that topic in a Facebook post, which said, "The aim of this initiative is to encourage citizens to take responsibility for the management of waste destined for landfill sites. It also aims to stop the domestic litter in the bins for the visitors use."

It went on to say: "We know that actions in the field have been taken quickly and could have surprised some people. An awareness campaign is being prepared."

The messaging is a bit ironic, according to Little Burgundy resident Georges Clermont.

"People just leave them on the corner for owners or condos to remove them," he said.

Simon Bacon, a professor in behavioural medicine at Concordia University, said the agency failed to inform the public and that could backfire on its goal.

"I think it's probably going to lead to more littering along the canal and probably can end up with a whole series of negative consequences rather than actually anything positive, unfortunately," he said in an interview.

He said he believes that, in this case, more might actually be less.

"Give people better options to be able to dispose appropriately of their rubbish," he said. "If you look at most dog owners, for example, a very responsible people, they pick up the dog's mess after them and then look to dispose of them appropriately. So if you give them the capacity, the facilities to be able to do that, they will do it."

CTV News reached out to Parks Canada but did not get a response before publication time.

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