The City of Victoria is looking to pay someone to go through public garbage bins.

The consultant will rummage through the trash cans to find out what items people are tossing out.

"We know that throwing single-use items in the garbage puts more stress on our landfill. So what we want to understand is what is going into the trash and where," said Mayor Lisa Helps.

The Public Realm Waste Composition Study is part of the city's strategy to reduce single-use plastics. The city has put out a request for proposals from bidders to study the content of the trash.

The findings of the study will help the city learn which items it should focus on eliminating or reducing.

"Is it coffee cups? That's what my gut says, but we don't want to make decisions based on the mayor's gut. We want to make decisions based on evidence and that's why we are bringing these consultants in," said Helps.

The consultant will only be digging through city-owned garbage bins in public spaces, of which there are more than 1,000 in Victoria.

The successful bidder will be awarded the contract worth between $10,000 and $20,000.

Companies have until July 11 to submit their proposals.