B.C. church enlists God in fight against illegal dumpers

St. Barnabas' Anglican Church in New Westminster has put up a sign from God, warning "Do not drop your crap here." The sign was erected after years of church staff having to deal with illegal dumping on church grounds.

St. Barnabas' in New Westminster has put up a sign from God, warning "Do not drop your crap here."

Reverend Emilie Smith of St. Barnabas' Anglican Church hopes her new sign will put the fear of god into would-be illegal dumpers. (Steve Bailey)

A church in New Westminster hopes the fear of god will scare off illegal dumpers.

After years of dealing with unwanted refuse, St. Barnabas' Anglican church has erected a sign that reads "Do not drop your crap here. God."

Most of the dumped garbage is left around a pair of dumpsters on St. Barnabas' property. (Emilie Smith)

"People here were really frustrated, because we really love this place," Reverend Emilie Smith told CBC Radio One's The Early Edition. "It breaks my heart that we have this garbage problem."

Smith says the problem is rooted in the fact that the church has a thrift shop in the basement.

Although donations are only accepted during store or office hours, people began leaving items for drop-off outside overnight, which then seemed to attract illegal dumpers.

Over the years, people have dropped off many unwanted items, including:

  • A kitchen sink.

  • A car seat (not the child's kind, just a car seat from a car).

  • A 25-year-old fax machine.

  • An old china cabinet with broken doors.

  • Six mattresses, which were dumped together just last week.

City pledges to tackle the problem

Smith says the church has tried threatening to video record the dumpers, and one priest even tracked down a culprit and returned a bag full of garbage.

Kristian Davis, the supervisor for the solid waste and recycling branch with the city of New Westminster, says the church is one of a handful of locations in the city plagued by illegal dumping.

"The city is looking at targeting those locations with any means possible," Davis said, adding that the city is considering putting up surveillance cameras in problem locations.

Davis says that people should contact the city if they don't know what to do with their unwanted items, or if they need help transporting them to a proper transfer station or dump site.


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