Illegal dumping problem persists in Wabush
Residents in Wasbush continue to illegally dump their waste on side roads off the Trans-Labrador Highway, despite several security cameras that were installed to deter them from being litter bugs.
Gordon Parsons pointed to one example — a road leading to a pond that he often uses, littered with bald tires, a rusty tricycle, and a couple of broken doors.
"We're only 200 metres away from the pavement," he said. "It's open, they come in here, dump it out, and away they go."
The Town of Wabush installed six hidden cameras in 2012 to help crack down on those who are illegally dumping waste in the area.
Photos from those cameras have led to charges, with fines of a minimum of $500.
In their reports, town officials have asked that charges also include cleaning up the mess — but that decision is up to the courts.
One man was caught illegally dumping trash just minutes away from the town's garbage incinerator.
While that incinerator is now closed, a new landfill opened just a few months ago.
Melanie LaFosse, the town's director of planning and land use, said the trash problem persists.
"It's going to take a while — especially now with the incinerator closed. You have to go up to Lab City — which is a few extra kilometres' drive," she said.
"It's easier to just drop it off in the woods."
With so much land and so few resources, it's difficult for officials to remove all of the waste.
But LaFosse said they are asking residents to report anything they find.
"If it's in the municipality boundary or planning boundary, they can by all means call the Town of Wabush or bring in the information that they have," she said.
Parsons said he has sent pictures to the town of some of the worst areas, but some litter remains — like a familiar, rusty barbecue.
"We've been coming in here for a number of years, and we look at the garbage that gets more and more, and the piles get bigger and bigger each year," he said.
LaFosse said the town will take part in a Multi-Materials Stewardship Board training program this summer, to learn how to catch illegal dumpers, as well as other green initiatives.
The town is also planning to install more cameras.