Stop my neighbour from trashing my lawn, pleads Saskatoon man

Darren Cannell says his neighbours leave piles of garbage in front of their home, which ends up blowing onto his lawn.
Darren Cannell says pieces of garbage from his neighbour's trash pile continually end up on his property. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

Darren Cannell and his family are asking the City of Saskatoon to stop his neighbour from leaving trash piled up high in front of their own home, which ends up on Cannell's lawn.

The Cannells' yard is peppered with litter, including old milk jugs and food boxes. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)
"It would be really nice if we didn't live next to the city dump," Cannell said. "That's what this feels like a whole lot of the days. The only thing we're missing is the seagulls flying around."

Cannell said he is faced with the same reality every spring: a yard full of garbage that isn't his. He said his neighbours leave bags of trash out for weeks in front of their east-end house, and the trash blows onto Cannell's front lawn.

"Anytime there's a wind, as you can see, it blows into our yard and we end up cleaning it up...that's the biggest issue," Cannell said.

He said the problem has been ongoing for the past six years and asking his neighbours to clean it up hasn't worked in the past.

Cannell's 10-year-old son, Daxtin, said he too is sick of the garbage in his yard, especially because he often has to help clean it up.

Daxtin Cannell helps clean up the trash. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)
"I don't really feel like I should do it," Daxtin said. "I feel like they should do it, because they have a little kid too and she should do it."

Now, the Cannells say they want the city to step in. He said he has complained twice this year to officials and has been told to wait for further investigation.

The Cannells' neighbours declined to comment on the matter.

The city's acting fire marshal Luc Durand said there is a backlog of property complaints.

"We're certainly a bit behind, mostly due because of the growth that we're experiencing in the city as well," Durand said. "And now that spring is just around the corner, so a lot of complaints, or untidiness of properties are actually more visible."

The most serious complaints must be dealt with first, he explained. In order of priority, they are life safety issues such as structural deficiencies, safe living conditions such as hoarding, and finally maintenance issues such as garbage and junk.

Two years ago property inspectors started issuing tickets under a city by-law.  Last year, 95 tickets were issued. This year, 279 property maintenance complaints have been filed to date, and ten tickets issued. 

As for Darren Cannell's neighbours, Durand said inspectors paid them a visit this morning. And the mess has been cleaned up.


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