Region takes aim at illegal dumping

Education and enforcement at core of new program

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If you take your trash to the woods rather than the recycling yard or landfill, be warned: A new regional program aims to stop illegal dumping.

The Comox Strathcona Waste Management program has two components – education and enforcement.

“Illegal dumping is a growing problem.” said Michael Dinesen, Bylaw Compliance Officer. “There’s been more than 500 illegal dump sites identified in the CSWM service area, which covers the Comox Valley and Strathcona Regional Districts. We researched programs and policies that have been successful in other jurisdictions and developed one that we believe will work in all the communities across our region.”

The illegal dumping prevention program includes a public education campaign to raise awareness of the problems around illegal dumping and the options available for properly disposing of waste. The new illegal dumping bylaw to be passed by the CSWM board will ensure there is consistent enforcement and fines in communities throughout the CSWM service area.

“We want to be proactive, but we also need to have the capability to fine those who continue to choose to dump illegally,” said Dinesen. “Under this new bylaw, investigations can take place to try to identify the owners of illegally dumped materials and fines can be levied.”

The most common illegally dumped materials include appliances, furniture, metal, tires, and construction and demolition materials.

“Many of these items could be disposed of properly for little to no cost through either recycling centres or at a regional waste management centre,” said Dinesen.

A hotline allows people to report illegal dump sites or if they see someone improperly dumping materials.

Find more information about the program at www.cswm.ca/illegaldumping. To report illegal dumping, call 1-800-331-6007.

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