CALGARY -- Latex gloves and sanitary wipes are being left scattered needlessly throughout parking lots across the city as people look to protect themselves against COVID-19, according to a Calgary company that picks up litter.

“Normally used to seeing the traditional litter like cups cans, wrappers and cigarette butts,” said Brian Winch, operations manager with Quality Maintenance. 

The company cleans about 150 commercial business parking lots and says there has been an increased amount of garbage in the last several weeks. 

“It’s more challenging because it's light and tends to blow into the landscape area, into the shrubs,” said Winch. 

“We sweep it up with all the other litter material and discard it the same way into regular dumpsters.”

For Winch, most of his business is conducted after-hours, before employees and shoppers arrive. 

It allows him to scour the entire lot, without missing any waste. 

“Cleaning businesses are having a challenging time right now,” Winch said. 

“We have determined to be an essential service but it's scary out there. Like a lot of businesses, we’ve got customers that, at the end of the day, don’t have tenants, how are they going to pay their bills?”

Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Chief Tom Sampson says if people are caught littering, there will be consequences.

“It does become an enforcement issue at some time,” he said.

“It would be my anticipation that, that form of littering would be treated no differently than an individual who decided to throw a garbage bag out of a car in front of a bylaw officer.”