Editorial: There’s a price tag for illegal dumping

There’s no excuse for this anti-social behaviour.

Illegal dumping has been a plague on the Comox Valley for years, and although the latest report indicates a shift, the problem still exisits.

Two years into the Comox Strathcona Waste Management’s Illegal Dumping Prevention Program, stats are encouraging.

In Courtenay, thre has been a 60 per cent increase in reports of illegal dumping, and the overall tonnage of illegal waste being recovered has decreased.

Progress is being made regarding the issue. But the mindset of some perpetrators is still evident.

There’s no excuse for this anti-social behaviour. Many of the unwanted items could be discarded free of charge through your curbside garbage collection or a quick trip to the transfer station. Some of the things, yes, you would have to pay to throw out. But that’s your responsibility.

It is not on others to have to pay your tab because you’re too cheap or too lazy, or both, to properly dispose of your stuff.

It’s baffling how someone who seems to be able to afford to own and run a truck in order to haul their stuff out to where they dump it would pinch pennies on a little trash disposal. The cost of the gas alone that it took to haul this stuff into the bush could have gone a good way toward paying for proper disposal.

Many of these wilderness areas belong to all of us for our enjoyment. They’re not your garbage bin.

Perhaps year-round serveillance cameras in the high incident areas would help. They are effective tools against illegal dumping in other communities, with photos of highly identifiable objects distributed to media partners, to track down the dumpers and confront them about their actions.

We generally aren’t advocates for public shaming, but there is a time and a place.

Remember, some of this stuff contains chemicals that leach into the ground and water around it, poisoning our environment. Think before you decide to illegally discard your things. In the end, the price tag is too high, for all of us.

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