How frustrated are Mid Vancouver Island residents with illegal garbage dumping? Extremely frustrated.
Illegal dumping raises significant concerns with regard to public health and safety, property values, and the environment. If not addressed, illegal dumps:
- attract more waste
- attract rats
- spread disease
- pose a fire risk (become targets for arson)
- serve as magnets for other criminal activities (dumping stolen items)
- contaminate drinking water
- harm fish habitat
- spread invasive plants
In lower income areas, residents have difficulty affording trash pickup and disposal fees. The problem tends to be worse in areas with a high population of renters who have less stake in the community or absentee property owners who do not respond to problems. At the same time, illegal dumping is given a low priority by local governments.
The City of Nanaimo apparently has a budget of $20,000 a year to deal with illegally dumped garbage out of a $200 million dollar budget.
Recently, residents had enough of an illegal dump site behind Rosstown Road in Nanaimo and 27 people came to clean up the area. They removed 4.14 tonnes of garbage.
The facebook site “Stop Illegal Garbage Dumping” where these pictures are from shows the great efforts people have taken to do something about illegal garbage dumping locally.
The facebook site also highlights illegal garbage dumping at Little Mountain in Errington and the unusual odors emanating from this illegal dump. Over the years people have raised their concerns but so far the regional district hasn’t made any plans to clean it up.
According to the Regional District of Nanaimo’s website in 2012 they recovered 42 tonnes of illegal garbage spread out over more than 60 locations. But has anything been done recently?
Those who dump waste illegally will be subject to a fine of up to $200,000 in the RDN.
It doesn’t appear from their websites that the communities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, Ladysmith, or Parksville have any fines for dumping illegal garbage. Nor do they have any page on their websites where someone can report illegally dumped garbage such as this online form from the City of Richmond.
Cassidy and Errington have a garbage problem
Despite the fact that garbage collection is a service provided by the RDN in Cassidy and Errington, it appears by all the dumped garbage in the backwoods and roads in the area that a LOT of residents “dump or lose” their trash.
Volunteers removed eight to ten tonnes of illegally dumped garbage on logging roads from Cassidy down to Peerless Road in Ladysmith (near the new dump, ironically). According to the facebook site volunteers have cleaned this same stretch yearly for the last four years, collecting about eight tonnes per year.
**Representatives from the RDN must canvas these areas to find out why the residents are dumping and what can be done to address this issue.
Nanaimo Visitor Centre across from illegal garbage dump
On Northfield Road, directly across from the Nanaimo Visitor Centre, sits piles of illegally dumped garbage. Let’s remember tourists are in the process of deciding if they want to visit downtown Nanaimo and enjoy our beautiful harbour city. Will this pile of garbage turn them off?
Over a million dollars for bird contract at garbage dump
In 2013, PK Bird Control Services was awarded a three-year, $649,500 contract “to keep the skies clear” at Nanaimo’s regional landfill (8 birds & 6 handlers). Over the years this has added up to over a million dollars on bird control services. There should be no food waste to attract birds anymore so is this really necessary? The contract is set to expire early next year. Could this same amount of money be applied to cleaning up the Nanaimo area?
Still no yard waste collection in Nanaimo
There are currently 26,414 households that receive garbage collection. There are still no plans to start yard waste collection in Nanaimo. Other communities have it. Why not here?
The cost of dumping yard waste at the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is:
$5 minimum (even for a small grocery bag)
$10 car or van
$15 regular truck or trailer (overload rates apply)
Taxes are going up every year, the governments are growing and people are seeing less and less services. Why should people spend their spare hours cleaning up after thoughtless people? Let’s demand service from our local governments to get the mid island cleaned up.