St. John’s city council will hire security services to patrol areas of the city in an attempt to thwart illegal dumping.

"We recognize that this is a growing problem within the city and are going to take the steps necessary to deal with this issue and ensure those found dumping illegally will be prosecuted," Ward 5 Coun. Wally Collins, who chairs the city’s public works committee, said in a press release.

"We see pictures over and over where people have dumped rubbish and building materials in either remote areas or open spaces in our city, and this is completely unacceptable."

Collins said the costs of cleaning illegal dumpsites are high, especially if there are oil or chemical leaks involved.

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Coun. Wally Collins is in charge of the city's public works committee. (CBC)

Council is advertising a request for proposals seeking an independent security firm to provide patrol services. It closes May 18.

The proposal calls for a minimum of 40 surveillance hours per week.

Coun. Tom Hann said he is "very pleased" that council is taking this action.

"It is unfortunate that we have had to take this step, but we have seen time and again illegal dumping in our watershed and in other areas of our city," Hann said in a press release.

In January, Hann told CBC News the city was considering the use of surveillance cameras to catch offenders. Illegal dumping has been a constant irritant for council in recent times.

The city is reminding residents that there are many ways to legally dispose of unwanted waste.

Those include curbside bulk collection, which is free to residents when they call and make an appointment, and residential drop-off and household hazardous waste facilities at Robin Hood Bay.