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Burning garbage to avoid dump fees a problem in Clarenville

Waste management

Clarenville's new waste transfer station opened in January, as part of a regional system of garbage collection and recycling. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

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Some businesses in Clarenville are burning their garbage instead of bringing it to a new waste transfer station, and that's become a nuisance for the town.

Chief administrator Bob Hiscock told the CBC Central Morning Show that it appears to be limited to commercial areas, and there have been calls about the smell and smoke.

The waste transfer station opened in January, and collects trash for shipment to Robin Hood Bay, near St. John's.

The facility is run by Eastern Waste Management, not by the town, and businesses are charged a fee for every ton of waste they drop off. 

Hiscock said he believes some are trying to save money.

"Because now they have to pay for it as opposed to before the transfer station came into play they could just take it out and dispose of it for free."

He said it's not something council anticipated when the town dump closed in January.

"We had a fear that we would see more garbage disposed of say on the railway tracks or in the woods, things like that. I hadn't anticipated actually burning things in people's yards," he said.

The town is investigating, but it doesn't have a bylaw to stop the burning. Hiscock said new regulations could be brought before council in a month or so.

"We're not concerned about people having small fires near their homes," he said, but the town doesn't want businesses burning pallets and other wood products.

Hiscock said for the most part, the new waste management system appears to be working well.

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